UNITED NATIONS, September 25. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who made remarks on the citizens of eastern Ukraine, paved the way for the declaration of referendums on these territories’ accession to Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Saturday.
Back in August 2021, Zelensky in an interview that if people living in eastern Ukraine consider themselves to be Russians, seek to speak Russian, then they should "get out to Russia" for the sake of their future, Lavrov recalled.
"So, if you want, in fact he paved the way for this process, which made it intolerable for ethnic Russians to live in Ukraine and in the end led to the declaration of referendums on joining Russia on these regions’ territory," Lavrov said.
Zelensky raised the issue of Kiev’s possession of nuclear weapons long before the special military operation started, Russian Foreign Minister said.
"Nobody recalls that this January, Zelensky ascertained in one of his statements long before the special military operation began, as he has spoken a lot and continues to do so, that it was a major mistake for Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union was breaking up. This topic was thrown in by him into conversations about how to settle the problems emerging in Ukraine," Lavrov told.