Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave an exclusive interview to RT. Of course, the main topic of conversation was the crisis in Ukraine. According to Lavrov, America is shifting blame onto other people's shoulders. This applies to the beginning of the conflict, and the current situation. According to Washington, the Russians give orders to protesters in the south and east of Ukraine to seize administrative buildings - and now Moscow should order the release of these buildings, and at the same time prohibit the protesters to make demands for federalization and decentralization of power in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Minister emphasized that in Geneva, an agreement was reached on cooperation in Ukraine, regardless of the region in question: the East, the West, the central regions or Kiev itself. It is hard to imagine that in some European city the central square and government buildings would be occupied, as it is happening in Kiev now, ”Lavrov emphasized. According to him, the cases of arson of administrative buildings and even incidents when snipers shot at people in Kiev are not investigated. “We need to focus on eliminating the terrorist threat in the East and South of Ukraine,” the minister said.
Lavrov noted that the appointed Verkhovna Rada acting president Turchinov virtually declared a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at people, despite the fact that they were participating in peaceful protests.
The Minister recalled the agreements concluded in Geneva. In particular, that extremists should not be given free rein. Despite this, the “Right Sector” is still very active. And after the agreement, several provocations were organized, which led to the death of people in Slavyansk on the Easter holiday. There is also an amnesty agreement for protesters who agree to leave the occupied buildings and surrender weapon. Thus, the governor of Donetsk should not remain under arrest and new arrests should not follow. Pavel Gubarev never stormed the building, he had no weapons. He was arrested only because the protesters elected him governor of the region and he called for a referendum on the possibility of the federalization of Ukraine. In fact, he is a political prisoner, Lavrov believes.
The Minister emphasized that the Kiev authorities do not comply with any point of agreement in Geneva. Commenting on the bill on amnesty, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern that this law would not apply to political prisoners. After the announced pause in the force action, which in Kiev is called the counter-terrorist operation, it again entered the active phase. Lavrov noted that this happened after the visit to Kiev of US Vice President Joe Biden.
Unlike Europe, which is trying to influence more veiled, the United States acts quite openly, the Russian foreign minister said. There are materials about the role of the CIA in the current situation and the influence of the American embassy on the events on the Maidan - they directly communicated with activists who were armed and planned to seize buildings. “When you receive daily calls from John Kerry, who says what you should do, when you understand how far the United States is from Ukraine and how agitated they are at the same time, it seems that they are to a large extent guiding the whole process,” said Lavrov .
According to him, Moscow has no levers of influence on Kiev. In eastern Ukraine, people rebelled a few months after their interests were completely ignored. They began to protest when they saw what was happening on the Maidan, where the Right Sector rampant, where dozens of people were killed by sniper fire. All those who opposed the government of Yanukovych, were amnestied. But for some reason this amnesty does not apply to protesters in the south-east of the country, the minister explained.
The authorities tried to ban the use of the Russian language. As a result, this law was not signed. But the fact that, in the opinion of Lavrov, talks about such a possibility were talking a lot. Many other discussions also pointed to the chauvinistic character of the coalition, which also included the Svoboda party, the minister noted. These people are perceived by the United States as political partners. Lavrov mentioned the question asked in a conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry: why would the United States not make an open statement about the Freedom Party and the Right Sector. The minister said that in private conversations Kerry has repeatedly stated that extremist, chauvinistic and terrorist acts are unacceptable. However, the Americans have never publicly opposed the Right Sector or the Svoboda Party, ”the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said. According to the United States, these parties are within the political mainstream, but this is not the case, Lavrov said.
According to him, Moscow fully understands why unrest occurred in the south-east of Ukraine. Residents of the region did not want to repeat the Kiev events. They wanted to maintain friendly relations with Russia, since their relatives live there. They listened to the opinion of Russia. “These people are not puppets,” noted the Minister. - We can not guarantee that they will obediently listen to orders from Kiev. The regime must stop using troops against its own people. Authorities must free political prisoners. They must fulfill the promises of February 21 agreement, which says about the need to disarm illegal armed groups, including the "Right Sector". It is necessary to involve the regions in the constitutional process, to sit at the negotiating table. ” And about. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is now heading for the Vatican. “Instead of traveling abroad, it would be better for him to go to the south,” said the Russian foreign minister. Last week, when Yatsenyuk was in this region of the country, he met only with those people whom he himself appointed to the posts, but did not want to meet with the demonstrators.
"We can not say that we neglect the problems of the south-east of Ukraine", - said Lavrov. Moscow insists that the political interests of these regions of Ukraine should be taken into account. According to the minister, that is why the Russian delegation went to Geneva and negotiated a document that, among other things, requires the interim government to stop illegal activities that continue to be carried out in Kiev and other parts of the country. Leaders elected by the people in the South and East stated that they were ready to surrender their weapons and vacate the buildings, provided that the government stopped giving illegal orders and using armed forces, and also kept promises regarding the Right Sector and other extremist forces. However, in the United States they believe that the buildings in Kiev are captured legally, that the Kiev authorities must justify the people who did it. “This is simply unbelievable!” The Russian foreign minister expressed his bewilderment.
“We held a meeting in Geneva to try to return the process to a peaceful course, in order to start a constitutional process with the participation of all Ukrainian regions,” Lavrov said. However, he noted that Russia "has no moral authority, no levers of influence to the south, so that they do something unilaterally."
Lavrov specifically pointed out that the February 21 agreement was signed to keep President Yanukovych from using police measures and not to impose a state of emergency in the country. Yanukovych fulfilled all promises under the agreement, - the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation noted. According to Lavrov, it was actually a capitulation.
Russia never denied that it sent additional troops to the Russian-Ukrainian border. The Ukrainian authorities acted in the same way, having transferred part of the troops to the south-eastern regions of the country. Our troops are on Russian territory. They participated in military exercises, which Sergei Shoigu, heading the Ministry of Defense, arranges regularly, on a permanent basis. This is normal, because the army must feel prepared, the minister explained. At the same time, Lavrov clearly made it clear that if Russia was attacked, the response would follow immediately. “If the interests of Russian citizens are directly violated, I see no other way out than to respond in accordance with the norms of international law,” Lavrov said.
He stressed that Russian troops are on their territory. Russia satisfied the request for inspection within the framework of the so-called Vienna Document 2011 of the Year and the Open Skies Treaty: inspectors visited the deployment areas of troops participating in the exercises and conducted observation flights over these areas. None of them - neither Americans, nor Ukrainians, nor Europeans - found any evidence of Russia's participation in military activity threatening Ukraine.
The only specific case reported by the Americans (in addition to falsified computer images) is that residents of eastern Ukraine used Russian weapons. But the fact is that “Kalashnikovs” and “Makarovs” are used by everyone in Ukraine. Therefore, according to Lavrov, this is not very convincing evidence. At the same time, the Minister noted the discovery of stocks of American weapons. Russia would like this incident to be investigated. It is also reported that several hundred representatives of a private military organization called Greystone arrived in Ukraine from America. And this information must also be confirmed or refuted. The minister said that American colleagues had assured that they had not heard anything about it, but in Moscow they would like to know for sure.
Lavrov told State Secretary Kerry several times that the Russian Federation does not believe in a “partnership” in which the American side is trying to impose its position on any issue. According to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, considering the position of the United States - not only in Ukraine, but also in Iran and Syria - one cannot but say about an absolutely selfish and unrealistic approach and attempts to disguise its responsibility for what is happening.
Lavrov is confident that the Ukrainian authorities must follow their promises: to ensure constitutional reforms, a discussion of the status of the Russian language. They should begin a process that will ensure that all Ukrainian regions feel comfortable, so that their voices can be heard.
The Russian Foreign Minister noted that people who staged a coup in Ukraine and overthrew the legitimate president did not initially talk about constitutional reforms at all. It was only about the election of 25 in May. They had to be reminded of the need for constitutional reform, otherwise the south-east of Ukraine does not recognize the legitimacy of what is happening. However, then the Kiev authorities said that they will fulfill them later. Lavrov explained that after the implementation of reforms it is necessary to hold a referendum on federalization or decentralization of power. According to the minister, in Moscow they want to see to it that all regions of Ukraine are satisfied, that they feel that they are masters of their own destiny within the framework of a state that respects their rights.
“Ukraine is just one of the manifestations of America’s reluctance to concede in a geopolitical battle,” the foreign minister stressed. The United States is not ready to admit that they cannot set the tone in all parts of the world, impose ready-made solutions on everyone. They have the impression that there is no need to take into account the opinions of others. In this regard, Lavrov recalled the compromises reached on chemical weapons in Syria, on Iran’s nuclear program, on Ukraine in Geneva. But when the agreements are already concluded, Washington is trying not to fulfill its promises. As an example, the minister cited Iran’s nuclear program. The signed agreement was very clear and transparent, but as soon as it began to be implemented, the Americans began to put forward new requirements, for example, according to Tehran’s missile program. But during the negotiations this topic was not discussed. Also, with regard to Syria, an agreement was signed on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons. This process proceeds quite smoothly. At the same time, the Americans immediately began ringing all the bells and accusing the Syrian government of dragging out the process and failing to fulfill their promises. “Every time we make some agreements, the Americans start accusing someone else of deliberately delaying the process or, even worse, start making new demands that do not correspond to the consensus reached. That's what they are doing now in Geneva, "- said Lavrov.
“I very much hope that America will behave responsibly and think not only about its geopolitical, one-sided interests,” Lavrov said. “If we think about Ukraine, and not about who will control it, it’s not so difficult to help the people of the country reach a national compromise,” the Russian foreign minister said.