‘WE WON’T INTERFERE IN UKRAINE’–Lavrov

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RUSSIA’S Foreign Minister Lavrov, said yesterday that Moscow will not interfere with affairs in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has reacted with barely-disguised anger at the EU-US backed coup that has taken place, but it has been at pains to convey a non-interventionist stance over the counter-revolutionary developments in the Ukraine.

‘We have confirmed our principled position to not interfere in Ukraine’s internal affairs and expect all foreign powers to follow a similar logic,’ said Sergei Lavrov.

He added: ‘It would be dangerous and counterproductive to give Ukraine an ultimatum of “either you’re with us or against us”.’

Deposed President Yanukovych is now being sought on charges of ordering mass murder and it has been decided to hand him over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

The formation of a national unity government has meanwhile been postponed.

Lavrov, who earlier yesterday attended a Security Council meeting with Russia’s president and defence minister, said Moscow would wait until a new government was formed in Ukraine before agreeing to render assistance.

‘We want to understand who will be in Ukraine’s new government, which is literally being formed at this time, and what agenda this new government will have, including for stabilising the economy,’ he said.

On Monday, Ukraine’s interim finance minister said the country was seeking at least $35 billion in urgent aid from Western powers, including the EU and the United States.

Officials in Russia have limited themselves to condemning the events in the Ukraine as the work of ‘extremist and terrorists’ and saying they cannot yet recognise the legitimacy of the incoming government.

Ukraine’s Communist Party, which supported Viktor Yanukovich, is going to declare itself in opposition to the current ruling party, said Communist officials.

The party said it is concerned with the recent burst of ‘anti-communist psychosis, the facts of vandalism and violence’ which resulted in toppling the statues to the former USSR leader Vladimir Lenin and monuments to the ‘Soviet Soldier’ commemorating the collective sacrifice of the Soviet army against Nazi forces.

The new power, according to the party officials, does not condemn these actions.

A red Soviet star, a symbol of the former USSR, has been taken down from the spire of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, by the initiative of the parliament, Deputy Speaker Ruslan Koshulinsky said.

In addition to the star’s removal, the red-black flag of the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party has been hoisted in the entrance of the Verkhovna Rada.

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to allow the country’s acting President Aleksandr Turchinov sign new laws.