West ‘hypocritical’ on Russian embassy attack in Kiev – Lavrov

Protesters throw eggs towards a building of the Russian embassy during a rally demanding the liberation of Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko by Russia, in Kiev, Ukraine, March 6, 2016. © Gleb Garanich
The West’s lack of response to recent attacks on Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine, particularly the embassy in Kiev, is a sign of “hypocrisy and duplicity,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Amid a spate of attacks, Moscow is monitoring the situation around its embassy in Kiev and frequently communicates with the Russian ambassador and his staff, Lavrov said in an interview with Andrey Dobrov, from Russian channel Ren TV.

“[Embassy staff] are performing in a good and correct way, as befits people who feel their homeland is behind them, their home country which will not let anyone harm them.”

The Russian embassy in Kiev and consulates in Odessa and Lvov have recently been attacked by angry mobs demanding that Moscow free Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who was charged over the killing of two Russian journalists and illegal crossing of the Ukraine-Russia border.

On Wednesday, the embassy building was pelted with stones, eggs, green dye, and iodine. An incident last Sunday turned much more violent, when a group of attackers torched the embassy’s cars overnight and threw smoke bombs and flares at the premises, triggering warning shots from security guards.

"The actions of those thugs who attacked the embassy and the consulates, bursting into their premises and ripping the flags off, those actions are outrageous," Lavrov said.

Russia’s embassies in Ukraine attacked by angry mobs over pilot Savchenko (VIDEO)

"And, to be honest, we see no reaction whatsoever from the so-called international community."

When an angry Iranian mob broke into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Tehran, following the execution of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr in February, Russia strongly condemned those actions and reiterated the importance of the unconditional safety of diplomatic missions, the foreign minister stressed.

“In our case we see no reaction from our Western colleagues … And hypocrisy and duplicity is there, indeed.”

Lavrov added that the embassy staff have “all necessary means” and “protection measures” to suppress any intrusion, but reiterated that it is up to “Ukraine’s mentors” to take further action.

“Those mentors have overwhelming influence over the current establishment in Kiev. I will talk on this topic today with the US Secretary of State [John Kerry] again. Relevant messages have been sent, of course, to European capitals.”

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Asked whether the diplomats may be running low on food and water supplies, given their “state of siege,” Lavrov said: “There are [such] supplies. Of course, we have drastically limited [their] access to the city, especially when it does not come to urgent work-related cases.

“I don’t think we have to worry about our diplomats and their families. We’re actively supporting them and won’t let any wrongdoing happen.”