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Provocations, EU's financial interests behind Ukraine protests - Lavrov

Russia 'has no doubt' that 'provocateurs with a long-prepared script' lurk behind the mass protests in Ukraine. This position was voiced by Russian RM Sergey Lavrov in a TV interview, in which he criticized the EU's greed and interventionism.

The scale of the ongoing protest is "incomprehensible" the Russian minister said on Saturday on the Rossiya 24 TV channel. Such a reaction would be understandable, for example, if Ukraine's government had declared war on a peaceful foreign nation against the wishes of the people. But merely delaying signing the EU trade deal does not give good cause for it, Lavrov believes.

"There is no doubt that provocateurs are behind it," he said.

Lavrov defended the Ukrainian government's right to take decisions on its national policy and criticized Western officials who have sided with the protesters demanding the government's resignation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 14th, 2013 at 05:39:09 AM EST
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Kiev Tug-of-War: Merkel Still Open to Ukraine Cooperation

(Spiegel Online) - Lithuanian President Dalia Grysbauskaite accused the Kremlin of blackmail. "The actions of Russia towards countries like Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia show that this country still employs uncivilized methods," Grysbaukaite told the German newspaper Die Zeit. It is inconceivable "that a country in the 21st century would still blackmail other countries in this way."

'We Underestimated the Drama'

European Parliament President Martin Schulz admitted EU officials made mistakes in their negotiations with Ukraine. "I think we underestimated the drama of the domestic political situation in Ukraine," he told German public radio station Deutschlandfunk. Ukraine, he said, "has been in a deep economic and financial crisis" since the introduction of democracy. "They desperately need money and they desperately need a reliable gas supply," he added.

Schulz said he understood why Ukraine moved towards Russia. "It is not especially popular in Europe to help states which are in a crisis ... and if you look at Moscow's proposals, they would offer Ukraine short-term assistance that we, as Europeans, cannot and do not want to afford."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 14th, 2013 at 09:24:27 AM EST
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