09:59 GMT +316 December 2018
Listen Live
    Russia

    Russia will help Kiev tackle crisis if it requests aid - FM

    Russia
    Get short URL
    0 0 0

    Russia will help Ukraine tackle an escalating political crisis if its former Soviet ally requests assistance, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

    YEREVAN, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will help Ukraine tackle an escalating political crisis if its former Soviet ally requests assistance, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

    President Viktor Yushchenko ordered the dissolution of parliament dominated by the Russian-leaning premier's supporters and early elections Monday following mass opposition rallies in Kiev at the weekend. The Supreme Rada referred the order to the Constitution Court and continued regular work pending its decision.

    "The final decision is up to the Ukrainian side, but if Kiev requests assistance and we can help, Russia will by all means respond," Lavrov said.

    Lavrov said the dispute between the pro-presidential forces and the premier-led majority coalition should be resolved in line with the Constitution and through dialogue, echoing foreign organizations' appeals earlier Tuesday for a democratic approach to the situation.

    "We are sincerely interested in Ukraine's sustainable development within the Constitution," the minister said.

    The latest crisis triggered by the defection of 11 opposition members to the majority coalition in late March prompted Yushchenko to cancel his visit to Moscow, slated for April 3, Monday. But a presidential press spokesman said Tuesday the visit would take place in the near future, and a new date was being coordinated with the Kremlin at the moment.

    "We will not delay the visit, we have prepared a substantial package of documents for 2007-2008, which need to be signed," Oleksandr Chaliy said.

    The visit, which was originally slated for March 21 to sign a crucial action plan addressing sensitive issues in bilateral relations, was first postponed by Moscow over a day of mourning following three major accidents rocked the country one after another.

    But media reports suggested the Kremlin was reluctant to back Yushchenko in his standoff with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych ongoing since the March 2006 elections, which failed to produce a majority party that could form a government on its own.

    Yushchenko has been promoting his country's integration into NATO and the European Union since coming to power after the 2004 "orange revolution" when he defeated Yanukovych, and welcomed U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in Central Europe several days before the visit.

    Yushchenko met with foreign ambassadors Tuesday, assuring them of the democratic and constitutional nature of the political processes in the ex-Soviet state.

    "We want the international community to understand that the situation in Ukraine is stable although it might look otherwise," the press spokesman said.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik