Russian Foreign Minister: Provocations, EU’s financial interests behind Ukraine protests

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.

“We are surprised by the almost hysterical reaction [of the West] to the sovereign decision of Ukraine’s legitimate authorities. What has the Yanukovich government done?” the top Russian diplomat wondered. “Did it withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Or did it announce that it was building a nuclear bomb in violation of its obligations. Did it order the shooting of somebody?”

“Just imagine me arriving in Germany after the rise of a euro skeptics party there, which would over a few months gain support through slogans like ‘stop feeding Europe’ and ‘Germany should walk away from EU’,” Lavrov suggested.

“So there I am walking among demonstrators supporting this party and calling on Germany to change its attitude towards the EU and separate from it. How would that be taken? I believe that the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, the Council of Europe and the OSCE would have all passed resolutions on how outrageous it was, and how Russians are meddling with Germany’s internal affairs,” the minister predicted.

He said this is exactly what is happening in Ukraine, when top EU officials visit the protesters and demand that the government integrate with the union.


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