MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The state coup in Ukraine in 2014 that split the country and prompted Crimea’s withdrawal was organized by the United States and only tentatively supported by European states, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an article, Being Open, Despite the Past, published on the Kremlin’s website and in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit on Tuesday.
The article is timed to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Soviet Union’s 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.
"Why did the USA organize the coup, and the European countries weak-heartedly support it, provoking a split within Ukraine and the withdrawal of Crimea?" Putin remarked, speaking about the 2014 events.
Speaking generally about the situation on the European continent after the end of the Cold War period and the NATO expansion, Putin pointed out that "many countries were put before the artificial choice of being either with the collective West or with Russia". "In fact, it was an ultimatum," the Russian leader stressed.
As the Russian president noted, the Ukrainian tragedy of 2014 is an example of "the consequences that this aggressive policy has led to".
"Europe actively supported the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine. This was where it all started. Why was it necessary to do this? Then incumbent president [of Ukraine Viktor] Yanukovych had already accepted all the demands of the opposition," Putin said.