MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia says it has enlisted China’s support for its claim that the overthrow of the government in Ukraine last month was orchestrated by “external forces.”
The situation in Ukraine was discussed Monday at consultations in Moscow between Chinese deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and his Russian counterpart, Grigory Karasin.
“The Chinese side expressed understanding of Russia's analysis of reasons behind the deep political crisis in Ukraine and the role of external forces that acted to support Euromaidan,” Russia foreign ministry said, referring to the informal name of the uprising that culminated with the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.
More than 90 people were killed – including dozens of protesters and more than a dozen policemen – during months of largely peaceful demonstrations that sporadically tipped over into violence.
Moscow has routinely blamed the United States and the European Union of lending the protest movement their support, while some lawmakers have claimed Western governments offered funding and training to demonstrators.
The Foreign Ministry said China blames Ukraine’s opposition for failing to comply with an EU-brokered agreement with Yanukovych on February 21 to end the months-long political standoff that had gripped the country.
That deal envisioned elections by the end of the year and reforms to the constitution. A Russian representative who oversaw the agreement refrained from signing it.
Opposition forces occupied parliament on February 22, as Yanukovych fled the capital for destination unknown, until finally surfacing in southern Russia around a week later.
Yanukovych has described his ouster as a coup and insists he remains the country’s legitimate head of state.