– US is ‘running show’ in Ukraine – Lavrov (Voice of Russia, April 23, 2014):
The United States has lately been shuffling off the responsibility for what’s going on in Ukraine on Russia, continuing to blame it for, as they say, locating its troops in the area, while the US involvement in the crisis is most obvious, Russia’s Foreign Minister told RT TV Channel in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the United States has a hand in the standoff in Ukraine. “There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show” in the Ukrainian crisis, Lavrov told the Russia Today.
He recalled US Vice-President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev and its coincidence with the renewed anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine, announced yesterday by Ukraine’s acting president Alexander Turchinov. Moscow immediately denounced the move.
“It’s quite telling they chose the moment of the Vice-President of the US’ visit to announce the resumption of this operation because the launching of this operation happened immediately after John Brennon’s [head of the CIA] visit to Kiev,” Lavrov said.
Russia will retaliate once attacked, striving to defend the interests of the Russian people that are now threatened, Lavrov noted. He alleged the US further plays hand in the current stand-off in embattled Ukraine, as the self-proclaimed government illegally seized power following vast Maidan rallies.
“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” Russia’s foreign chief said.
Speaking about true US intentions as it’s playing a part in the Ukrainian crisis, Lavrov pointed out it’s solely out of geopolitical ambitions, as the US’ attention shifted on from Asia to Europe, after deadly protests swept all through Ukraine. Meanwhile, the US doesn’t show the slightest understanding of what is happening in Ukraine, ignorant of the real causes of the crisis, but coming up with irrelevant “ready made solutions”. Lavrov says Russia would never leave the Russian-speaking population in the lurch:
“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” Lavrov told RT.
“Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone,” he made a point.
Referring to the four-sided talks between the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine in Geneva on April 17, Lavrov accused Kiev’s coup-appointed government of going back on its vows pronounced at the meeting to put a stop to all violence, as well as grant amnesty to all those pro-Russian activists that took hold of administrative buildings in south-eastern Ukraine. Lavrov said no agreements arrived at the Geneva meeting have been fulfilled by Kiev authorities and its allies.
“In Geneva we agreed there must be an end of all violence. Next afternoon [interim Ukrainian President Aleksandr] Turchinov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people, even on Easter holiday” Sergei Lavrov made a point.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of his “deep concern” Tuesday over Moscow’s attempts to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, a senior State Department official said.Kerry also warned that a lack of Russian progress on a deal struck in Geneva last week would lead to more sanctions, the official added.
The latest worry of US diplomacy came as Ukraine relaunched military operations against federalization supporters, AFP reports.
In a phone call to Lavrov, Kerry “expressed deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate, cited mounting evidence that separatists continue to increase the number of buildings under occupation and take journalists and other civilians captive,” the senior official said.
“He urged Russia to tone down escalatory rhetoric, engage diplomatically in the east with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and Ukrainian government, and issue public statements calling for those occupying buildings to disarm and stand down in exchange for amnesty.”
The official added that Kerry “also reiterated that the absence of measurable progress on implementing the Geneva agreement will result in increased sanctions on Russia.”The top US diplomat also spoke with the acting Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk and praised the “important steps” the interim goivernment in Kiev has taken to quell tensions.