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8 Mar, 2014 12:13

Lavrov: Right Sector radicals call the tune in Ukraine

Ukraine’s new government is under the influence of the radical nationalists, according to Russia’s Foreign Minister, who believes his foreign counterparts are well aware of the fact, but are unwilling to acknowledge it.

The so-called interim government is not self-sufficient, and, to great regret, depends upon radical nationalists, who carried out the military coup,” Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Saturday, when he was answering the question of whether Russia was ready to have direct talks with the coup-imposed government.

The Right Sector movement, consisting of several far-right groups, was very active in the violence leading to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich. After the February-21 agreement between Yanukovich and opposition leaders was signed, the Right Sector declared they did not recognize it and would continue the armed struggle.

At Saturday’s press conference, Lavrov gave an example of how exactly the Right Sector is influencing the current decision-making in Kiev.

The new government’s officials asked this Right Sector to approve their choice of ministers and now the Right Sector is dissatisfied. Its leaders say the reloading of the government system in Ukraine has not been completed. They are demand each of the ministers go to the Maidan protesters and report on how well they implement the demands of the protest leaders.”

Sergey Lavrov said the group, which allegedly demanded access to the country's arsenals, had the security situation in Kiev under its control. The capital of Ukraine has not been safe since ousted President Viktor Yanukovich removed all the police from the streets in compliance with the February-21 agreement.

"Actually there’s no state control over public order and the so-called Right Sector calls the tune, the group that has resorted to terror and intimidation.”

Dmytro Yarosh (C), a leader of the Right Sector movement (Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)

Lavrov believes the West is well aware of the role the nationalist group is playing in post-coup Ukraine.

Our western partners, it seems to me, are quite well informed of what they [the radicals] represent, because they are frequent guests there [in Kiev] and among themselves they are sharing extremely alarming impressions. But I guess for political reasons, they try to conceal the facts in public.”

John Laughland, of Paris-based Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, has warned of dangers of underestimating the nationalist forces in Ukraine.

Western media call far-right groups a minority but it’s a decisive minority,” he told RT. “It's been clear for some time that the men of violence exercise decisive influence. In 2012, the EU parliament condemned the Svoboda party - and now it's members are in the government. Europe is looking the other way. Double standards - the whole point to bounce tUkraine into the western camp.”

The leader of the Right Sector, Dmitry Yarosh, confirmed on Saturday he was running for president of Ukraine and was transforming his movement into a political party.

On Wednesday, Russia put Yarosh on an international wanted list and charged him with inciting terrorism. Charges were put forward following Right Sector’s posting a call for Doku Umarov, the notorious Chechen terrorist, to attack Russia over the Ukrainian conflict.

Ukrainians have always supported the liberation struggle of the Chechen and other Caucasian peoples,” the post on one of the Russian social networks said. “Now it’s the time for you to support Ukraine. As the Right Sector leader I urge you to step up the fight. Russia is not as strong as it seems.”

The Right Sector argues its account at the social network was hacked and denies reports it ever demanded access to Ukrainian arsenals.

To learn more about the Right Sector movement and its ideology, watch RT Peter Oliver’s report from Ukraine.