KHUDJAND, April 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia does not threaten Ukraine’s statehood, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said.
“The deep political and economic crisis is the only danger for Ukraine,” he said.
“The crisis should be settled by political means, based on the interests of all Ukrainian regions,” he said.
“I regret that the ‘Arab Spring’ scenario has been used in Ukraine,” Shoigu said, adding that “the Kiev authorities’ short-sighted policy can lead to the country's collapse.”
“Kiev's flirtation with the Neo-Nazis and anti-Russian actions can lead to a tragedy in Ukraine and Europe. The situation is difficult in the troubled eastern and southern regions, where nationalists are trying to suppress Russian-speakers’ protests by violence,” Shoigu said.
“The Crimean people took an uncompromising attitude: over 83% of the population participated in the referendum on March 16. Over 97% voted for joining Russia,” he said.
The Crimean referendum was held in full compliance with democratic procedures and the norms of international law, he said.
“Nobody denies neither the results of the referendum nor the turnout,” Shoigu said. “Crimeans’ expression of will has not been recognized. Some consider the referendum in Crimea illegitimate. In the meantime, ten years ago the UN’s top court in The Hague ruled that Kosovo’s breakaway from Serbia did not violate international law,” he said.
“Russia’s firm position is based on the will of millions of people, nationwide unity and global support,” Shoigu said.