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Clashes in Kiev prove that extremists not part of "mainstream" — Lavrov

September 01, 2015, 10:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Sergey Lavrov recalled that in 2012, the EU made a statement calling on Ukrainian politicians to refrain from cooperating with the Svoboda party which has been blamed for the recent clashes in Kiev
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© Leonid Zubov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. Yesterday’s clashes in Kiev show that it is dangerous to coquet with extremists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told students and lecturers of the International State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) on Tuesday.

"What happened in Kiev yesterday are the same extremists, the Svoboda [Freedom] party," Lavrov said. "When parliamentary elections were held in Ukraine in 2012 - and Svoboda’s charter adheres to documents of Ukrainian nationalists who announced their support for the new Hitler order - then EU made a statement, calling on Ukrainian politicians to refrain from cooperating with this strongly nationalist party," Lavrov noted. "When the coup happened, we reminded our colleagues how they treated this organization," he continued.

"No one denied that EU held such a position, but the French foreign minister said that ‘everything is fine’ and that ‘Svoboda is moving in the direction of political mainstream’. Well, it showed its ‘mainstream’ yesterday. One should not coquet with extremists anywhere," the top diplomat stressed.

Clashes in Kiev on August 31

Over 3,000 protesters against the Ukrainian Constitution amendments gathered at the Rada headquarters on Monday morning. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said some 30 protesters, including the one who threw a grenade at policemen, were detained.

Around 90-100 National Guards members were injured in the clashes, and one servicemen died from sustained injuries, advisor to the interior minister Anton Geraschenko said.

The Right Sector, Ukraine’s ultranationalist radical organization, called an urgent gathering for its supporters in downtown Kiev following Monday’s clashes between police and protesters against amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution.

Meanwhile, according to Ukrainian News reports, three journalists have been injured on Monday during the Rada clashes.

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