20 February 2014, 15:32

Sanctions threat against Ukraine looks like blackmail - Sergei Lavrov

Sanctions threat against Ukraine looks like blackmail - Sergei Lavrov

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned Western threats of sanctions against Ukraine as blackmail and double-standard approach.

The foreign minister is on a working trip in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. He said at a press conference that Ukraine's opposition couldn't or simply wouldn't "dissociate itself from extremist forces."

"The possibility of sanctions is nothing but an attempt at bullying," Lavrov said during a news conference in Baghdad, in remarks translated from Russian into Arabic.

Mr. Lavrov accused the United States of double standards as it piled all the blame on the Ukrainian government.

"The EU is mulling sanctions while paying uncalled-for visits to Ukraine," he added. "This behavious looks like blackmail [to me]."

Ukraine and western countries should stand apart from radicals – Russia

Ukraine and the West should stay apart from radicals, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said. “Russia thinks that Ukraine opposition as well as western countries should stay apart from extremists and other radicals,” said Lavrov during the press-conference in Bagdad on Thursday. This Tuesday, mass disorders escalated in Kiev again.

During the Verkhovna Rada meeting, the opposition insisted on return of the parliamentary-presidential form of government and on putting the Constitution of 2004 in force again.

Aggressive protestors wanted to approach the building of Ukrainian Parliament, they seized the buildings in the center of Kiev, burned tire-covers, threw stones and Molotov cocktails in the law enforcers. According to the police, the radicals use fire arms.

Russia's Lavrov blames West for forcing Ukraine into EU

The demand to hold early elections in Ukraine is aimed at forcing Ukraine to choose Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"You probably heard more than once that the capitals of Western European countries have demanded that the people of Ukraine should be given the freedom to choose, and they added that the choice should be in favor of the European Union," Lavrov told a press conference in Baghdad.

"Their purpose in the current initiatives is to essentially force this choice is evident to the Ukrainian administration: the demand to hold parliamentary and early presidential elections as soon as possible and to form a coalition government. That is, they are trying to decide everything for them," Lavrov said.

West misinterprets Ukraine extremist violence, threatens to sanction gov't – Russian FM Lavrov

The West is incorrectly interpreting the extremists' actions in Ukraine and threatening Kyiv with sanctions instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Our Western partners in Europe and the U.S. are laying all the blame on the country's authorities and fail to properly qualify the extremists' actions," Lavrov said at a press conference in Baghdad.

"We are really concerned about this, because double standards are obvious here, and instead they are threatening [the government] with sanctions, and not only threatening, but the Americans have already imposed them, thereby encouraging the opposition to dismiss any compromises," he added.

Russian FM accuses Western media of distorting truth about Ukraine unrest

The Western mainstream media are distorting the situation in Ukraine, Russia's foreign chief Sergei Lavrov has said.

Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad, Mr. Lavrov accused Western media of giving biased coverage on the Ukrainian political crisis.

The latest accounts estimate the number of casualties at 35 following clashes that have been erupting across the country. Over 500 have been injured in Kiev alone.

Moscow has accused extremist and opposition of pushing the country towards the edge, adding that the rhetoric of foreign officials was inciting radicalism and contributing to unrest.

Read also:

Coup d'Etat and seizure of power are currently attempted in Ukraine – Russia

Russian diplomatic mission, malls in Ukraine fend off night attacks

- Russia won't break up with Ukraine if gov't is legitimate, not 'a doormat' – PM Medvedev

- Russia to help Ukraine financially if situation grows normal – Peskov

Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax

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