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Lavrov: Russia not giving orders to Crimean self-defense forces

March 05, 2014, 14:33 UTC+3 MADRID

In order to send international observers to the Crimea, the consent of all parties involved is needed, Russia's Foreign Minister believes

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), and his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (R)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), and his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (R)


MADRID, March 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia does not give orders to self-defense forces in Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here Wednesday upon the end of talks with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

“As for the servicemen of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, they are staying at the sites of permanent deployment,” he said adding that supplementary security measures had been taken on their bases.

Russia’s Foreign Minister also said that in order to send international (OSCE) observers to the Crimea, the consent of all parties involved is needed. “Those who sit in the Verkhovna Rada do not control the whole territory,” Lavrov said. “It is necessary to make arrangements with those who control the situation in the region; the consent of all parties is required.”

“Our partners insist on accepting OSCE observers. We’ll discuss this issue. We’ve never ignored it. The problem should be solved by the receiving parties,” Lavrov said.

The destructive example of Ukraine is contagious, and it is necessary to put aside double standards in assessment of the situation, Lavrov added.


Reaction of global community to developments in Ukraine

The Russian minister is convinced that the root of all Ukrainian problems is that the global community couldn’t react timely to the opposition’s protests. “The global community could not react timely to anti-government protests that were carried out amid major breach of law by gunmen. On the contrary, these protests were encouraged,” he said.

“In essence, an armed coup occurred,” he added. 

Lavrov also expressed confidence that sanctions against Ukrainian leadership contradict the principle of the Budapest Treaty. “As regards the Budapest Memorandum, let’s remember what is written in it. It has some things written, in particular, the commitment not to apply compulsory measures towards Ukraine as a sovereign state, measures that would violate its sovereignty,” he noted.

“Holders of sovereignty are the president, and other members of the Ukrainian leadership that have been sanctioned long ago by the US, in particular, and the EU threatens to sanction them because they used their authority in making a decision upon signing the international agreement,” Lavrov added.

“I would like to ask everyone to keep in mind that the problem is multi-layered, and in order to calm the situation, everyone should act in compliance with the letter and spirit of law, and not to make an impression that someone may breach everything, including the Constitution of Ukraine, while others should comply with everything even beyond all existing liabilities,” the minister stressed.


Statements about presence of US missile defense units in Ukraine are speculation

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs called a speculation the statement about possible presence of US missile defense units in Ukraine. “I did not hear such a statement, but if this is true, we can see another example of those who sit now in the Verkhovna Rada speculating on relations between Russia and the West, trying to fuel these relations and fishing in troubled waters amid complete connivance of our western partners.”

“I believe, this policy is irresponsible,” the minister added. “I guess our western colleagues perfectly understand the whole game.”

Earlier, Ukraine’s ambassador to Minsk Mykhailo Yezhel stated that the option of bringing US missile defense units to Ukraine in exchange for providing financial aid to Kiev was being negotiated.

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