THREATS of sanctions against the Ukrainian government look like blackmail, and a demand for early elections is a way to force Kiev towards the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday.
The sanctions will only encourage extremists, he added.
Lavrov blasted the sanctions against Ukraine, some of which have already been imposed by the US, and are now being eyed by the EU, as ‘double standards’. Such actions will only encourage extremists to continue violence in the country, he said.
‘The Ukrainian opposition cannot or does not want to dissociate itself from extremists. The US lays all the blame on the Ukrainian government – this is a double standard,’ Lavrov said.
‘The EU is also trying to discuss the imposing of sanctions, at the same time there are uninvited missions coming to Ukraine. Such actions resemble blackmail,’ the minister said.
Not only are such threats ‘inappropriate’, but also will aggravate the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, has said.
There is ‘no doubt’ there is a ‘plain coup attempt’ going on in Ukraine, with armed rioters widely using firearms, the spokesman added.
‘We strongly condemn the actions of radicals and extremists, who are mostly responsible for violence and bloody riots. Serious responsibility also lies with the opposition, who have been unable to fulfil the agreements reached with the government,’ Lukashevich said.
The so-called Maidan leaders must ‘immediately stop bloodshed’ and ‘continue seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis without threats or ultimatums’, he stressed.