1 May, 17:53

Russia says Kiev’s plan to storm southeastern regions to have catastrophic consequences

Kiev's plans to conduct a military operation in Southeastern regions of Ukraine may lead to catastrophic consequences, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Moscow has also urged Kiev, as well as the United States and the European Union to avoid committing "criminal errors" over this situation, according to a statement published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Moscow is concerned about the recent information on the intention of Kiev's authorities to conduct special operations in the Southeastern regions of Ukraine, possibly involving troops from the ultra nationalist movement the Right Sector."Similar irresponsible and aggressive actions of the current 'Ukrainian government' - may lead to catastrophic consequences," the Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry underlined that retaliatory measures aiming Ukrainian people, would unveil the failure of Kiev's authorities to fulfill the obligations they have undertaken in Geneva, especially the commitments to quell the violence and launch a wide national dialogue involving all regions and political forces. "We call Kiev as well as the United States and the European Union not to commit criminal errors, and to soberly assess the possible consequences for the use of force against the Ukrainian people," the Ministry said.

Russia won't bow to outside pressure, will always defend its national interests - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied any connection between the absence of Russian troops in southeastern Ukraine and the sanctions recently imposed on Russia by the West, saying, however, that Moscow does not share "the well-known methods" of US diplomacy.

"If statements claiming that there are no Russian troops in the southeast [of Ukraine] because of sanctions reflect a wish to send some signal that the US is acting resolutely and achieving results, we are aware of such methods, but we are not using them," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz on Wednesday.

The Russian foreign minister offered his comments in response to media remarks made by US Secretary General John Kerry.

The absence of Russia's Armed Forces in southeastern Ukraine effectively serves to refute Washington's claims of Russian saboteurs and special service officers allegedly "flooding" the southeast of Ukraine, Lavrov said.

"We have never taken any measures bowing to pressure from anyone. We have been acting in accordance with the national interests of the Russian Federation, on the basis of international law and taking full account of the situation both in Crimea and as far as our position on the events under way in the southeast of Ukraine is concerned," he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes that following the logic implying that a country that is a partner of the United States cannot cooperate with Russia and vice versa is wrong.

"One should not follow the logic that if a country is an ally of the U.S. it cannot be a partner for Russia, and vice versa," Lavrov told reporters after negotiations with Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz on Wednesday.

The US, for example, wants to work together with Collective Security Treaty Organization member countries, which are Russia's partners, he said.

Lavrov offered his comments after being asked by a Chilean reporter whether or not his Latin American tour was a response to Washington's steps in relation to Moscow amid the Ukrainian crisis.

"I have nothing to say here. It [the reporter's question] is relying on the incorrect understanding of the situation and the incorrect understanding of Chile's policy in international affairs," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister also said that relations between Moscow and Santiago are valuable in their own right, which was confirmed by his recent meeting with Chile's President Michelle Bachelet.

Dialogue between Kiev gov't and its opponents could be steered by OSCE - Lavrov

Dialogue between Kiev government and its opponents could be established with the aid of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russian Foreign Minister, who is making a visit to Peru, said after talks with his Peruvian counterpart Eda Rivas. Mr. Lavrov has also called for immediate release of the OSCE observers detained by protesters last week in eastern Ukraine, but noted, that Moscow cannot influence decisions made by local militia.

"Russia believes that the dialogue between the Kiev authorities and those who oppose them in other regions of the country could be set up by the OSCE," Lavrov said.

"We hope our Western counterparts who still have doubts in this regard will lift their objections and won’t put up obstacles to the Ukrainians' attempts to strike an agreement with one another."

"Whatever the situation, Russia and Peru support the dialogue in Ukraine anyway," Lavrov said. "This is a fundamental task because the authorities in Kiev should feel and fulfill their responsibility. They should open dialogue with representatives of southeastern regions so as to reach consensus on how to live on."

Lavrov added that a deficit of information about situation in Ukraine existed in Latin America.

"We've gotten an impression that a deficit of information on events in Ukraine exists in Latin America and we tried to make up for it," Lavrov said. "Peruvian President said or conversation on the Ukrainian problem was very useful," he said.

Lavrov backs release of OSCE monitors, says it is up to protesters

Moscow calls for immediate release of the OSCE observers detained by protesters last week in eastern Ukraine, but cannot influence decisions made by local militia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

RIA Novosti reports that a bus carrying seven members of an OSCE observer mission in Ukraine and five Ukrainian military officers was seized by pro-federalization protesters in eastern city of Slavyansk on April 25.

"We urge the release of monitors, but we cannot decide for people's militia [in Slaviansk]," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz. "These people [the protesters] receive constant threats from Kiev, they are being told that troops and armored vehicles will be used against them, the threats also come from extremists," Lavrov said.

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