Reaction in Russia to the events in Ukraine

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On February 20 Vladimir Putin had telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. During the conversation, was expressed grave concern over the current spike in tension in Ukraine due to the actions by the opposition’s radical wing. Vladimir Putin stressed that it is extremely important to cease any bloodshed and take urgent measures to help stabilise the situation in the country and prevent any extremist or terrorist raids.

The Russian President informed Angela Merkel and David Cameron that Russia’s Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin will fly to Kiev to act as a mediator in negotiations with the opposition.

The Russian Foreign Ministry commented the situation in Ukraine. In his briefing of 20 February 2014 the official representative Alexander Lukashevich said: “taking into account a new dramatic turn in the development of the situation in Ukraine, I would like to reconfirm Russia’s principled approach to this growing crisis, which was stated by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Chairman of the Government, Dmitry Medvedev, the Press Secretary of the Head of State, Dmitry Peskov, and the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. I will focus on the Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the 19 February once again.

There is no doubt (and today’s events support this again) that the use of firearms by militants confirms that it is an evident attempt at a coup d’état and to seize power by force. We decisively condemn the actions of radicals and extremists, who are responsible for violence and bloody abuse of power, as well as the opposition, who were not able to fulfil the agreements they reached with the authorities.

We confirm again our request to the leaders of the “square” to stop the bloodshed immediately, and continue to search for peaceful outcomes to the crisis without threats or ultimatums. The situation must be settled within the framework of constitutional prerogatives by the acting powers in Ukraine.

The continuing attempts to impose external mediation, to threaten with sanctions or affect the situation in other ways, are inappropriate and nogood can come of them. They will only make the confrontation worse.

In this situation, we appeal to the parties to place the interests of Ukraine and its people above personal geopolitical plans”.