ST. PETERSBURG, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – Western countries supported the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine at the same time that Moscow suggested finding an exit from the crisis in the country through dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
"The West supported an anti-constitutional coup d'états. You supported it … and not only with your notorious cakes, but also with information accompaniment, as well as political, and whatever else. Why?" Putin said at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which is hosting official delegations from 62 countries and CEOs of 146 major world companies this year.
He added the European Union had announced nothing but slogans about consultations on Ukraine’s possible association with the EU.
The statement followed a series of mutual accusations straining Russia-EU relations, after the EU, together with the US, imposed sanctions on Russian officials for allegedly escalating the Ukrainian crisis.
Ukraine went through a regime change resembling a military coup on February 22, after months of clashes between the Russia-oriented authorities and supporters of Ukraine’s affiliation with Europe. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Since March, when the former Ukrainian Crimean peninsula rejoined Russia, anti-government protests have been spreading across the mainly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of the Ukraine. The Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed autonomy earlier this month.
Ukraine’s new interim authorities, backed by radical ultranationalist groups, launched a special operation to crack down on the protesters in mid-April, which has already led to dozens of deaths and injuries.