In turn, Secretary of State Kerry noted that Yanukovych &# 171; obviously made a personal decision&# 187; with which the people of this country do not agree
BRUSSELS – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow does not intend to intervene in political events in neighboring Ukraine and that other countries should also steer clear of internal divisions in that country.
However, demonstrations in Kiev have become more widespread since the end of last month, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign an Association and Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, saying that his country needs to strengthen ties with Russia..
In Brussels, NATO foreign ministers meeting on Afghanistan were caught up in a series of discussions about political unrest in Ukraine. In particular, they tried to find an answer to the question of how the alliance could respond if Russia tried to send troops to Ukraine to help suppress anti-government protests..
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he did not understand why anyone is raising the issue of Russian interference in the Ukrainian events at all. He spoke to reporters at NATO headquarters.
“… This creates a perverse picture and such signals in some perverted, inflamed brains can cause a completely misunderstanding of what is happening. We proceed from the assumption that this is an internal affair of Ukraine, “said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry..
According to Lavrov, Moscow does not understand what caused the aggression of the Ukrainian opposition against President Yanukovych, who, according to him, as the country’s chief executive, uses his right to sign or not to sign agreements with the European Union..
“If we now look at those documents that have not entered into force due to the fact that one or the other side did not sign them, then what does this mean – in each of these countries it is necessary to organize protest demonstrations? – said Lavrov – I hope that Ukrainian politicians will find a way to return the situation to a constitutional track. We stand for this and urge no one to interfere in this situation “.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov called on anti-government protesters to stop escalating tensions, and human rights activists are concerned that the police may take harsh measures against the demonstrators.
The American human rights organization Human Rights Watch reports that it has documents confirming that the police beat up those protesters who behaved peacefully. Some of them received head injuries. In turn, the Kiev police say that the street clashes were provoked by the protesters.
‘Russia to respond to new US sanctions’, says Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Prime Minister Azarov said that Ukraine wants to continue the EU integration process, but cannot afford to suffer losses as a result of reduced trade with Russia, which is Ukraine’s largest foreign investor and trading partner and which opposes the further rapprochement of its neighbor with the EU..
US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Tuesday that President Yanukovych “obviously made a personal decision” that the people of Ukraine disagree with..
“They should be able to decide who they want to join, so that personal interests are not opposed to national interests, and in order to be guided by the benefits that can be obtained, what life will be like, and those rights and benefits that they would like to receive,” – noted Kerry.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian opposition failed to secure the resignation of the government. Parliament did not vote for a vote of no confidence. 186, mostly opposition lawmakers voted in favor, which is 40 votes less than the majority required to take such a measure..