Russia: Kiev ‘getting out of control’

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iol pic wld MOS09_UKRAINE-RUSSIA_0121_11

REUTERS

Protesters gather near vehicles burnt down during recent demonstrations organized by pro-European integration supporters in Kiev on January 21, 2014. Picture: Gleb Garanich

Kiev - Russia warned on Tuesday that clashes between opposition and police in Ukraine were getting out of control and slammed the EU's “indecent” support of the protest movement against President Viktor Yanukovych.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the fact that calls by Ukraine's pro-EU opposition leaders to refrain from violence failed to calm tensions in the capital Kiev meant that the situation was becoming explosive.

“I personally believe that those calls for prudence that the opposition leaders - Vitali Klitschko in particular - are making, they show that the situation is getting out of control,” said Russia's top diplomat.

Lavrov described the unprecedented riots in the Ukrainian capital in which stun grenades and Molotov cocktails were used as “scary” and an “absolute violation of all European norms of behaviour”.

He reiterated criticism of what Ukraine's Soviet-era master Moscow sees as Europe's meddling into the sovereign affairs of the post-Soviet nation.

Late last year, several top Western officials including EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland visited the protest encampment on Independence Square, known locally as the Maidan.

“Members of several European governments rushed to the Maidan without any invitation and took part in anti-government demonstrations in a country with which they have diplomatic ties,” Lavrov said. “This is simply indecent.”

He said Russia was doing everything to help “stabilise” the situation.

“We certainly condemn any violence.” - AFP


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