Updated on 01:05 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – A quote about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent ability “to take Kiev in two weeks,” by European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso earlier in the week, was taken out of context and had a completely different meaning, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Tuesday.
“This is incorrect, this goes beyond the framework of diplomatic practice. This is unbecoming of a serious political figure,” Ushakov said, referring to Barroso’s comment.
Earlier this week, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that after Barroso’s telephone conversation with Putin, the European Commission president claimed that the Russian leader said he could take Ukraine in two weeks.
The Kremlin later responded that Putin’s words were misinterpreted and had completely different meaning.
As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the West continued accusing Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, sending troops to Ukraine, and went as far as to claim that Moscow planned to invade Ukraine. However, none of these statements were supported with any evidence.
Moscow, on the contrary, has repeatedly stated that it is not involved in Ukraine's internal conflict, and said that the crisis could only be resolved through a comprehensive political dialogue.
Kiev’s actions escalated the situation in southeastern Ukraine. Since the country's authorities launched a military operation to suppress independence supporters who refused to recognize the legitimacy of a new government, almost 2,600 people have died in the affected regions, with more than 6,000 injured.