Russia hits back at US ‘barefaced cynicism and double standards’ over Ukraine
The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the US State Department of double standards and low-level propaganda after it published a list of President Vladimir Putin’s “false claims” about the events in Ukraine.
“The State Department is trying to play on a shamelessly one-sided interpretation of the events,” ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich said on Thursday. “Surely, Washington cannot admit that they were nurturing Maidan [protests], encouraging the violent overthrow of the legitimate government, and thus clearing the way for those who are now pretending to be a legitimate power in Kiev.”
On Wednesday, one day after the Russian president's media conference on the events in Ukraine, the US State Department accused him of lying and published a “fact sheet” of Putin's 10 “false claims” surrounding the crisis.
Moscow said that it will not respond to such “low-level propaganda.”
“We will only say, yet again, that we are dealing with unacceptable arrogance and a pretense of having a monopoly on the truth,” Lukashevich said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
The United States has “no moral right” to lecture about observing international laws and respecting the sovereignty of other states, the diplomat added.
“What about the bombing of former Yugoslavia or the invasion of Iraq over a fabricated cause?” Lukashevich pointed out.
There have been quite a few examples of American military foreign interventions when there was no real threat to US security: Vietnam, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Libya, and Panama.
“The Vietnam War claimed the lives of two million civilians, not to mention totally destroyed the country and polluted the environment,” the diplomat said. “On the pretext of providing security to Americans who simply happened to be in conflict zones, the US invaded Lebanon in 1958 and the Dominican Republic in 1965, attacked tiny Grenada in 1983, bombed Libya in 1986, and occupied Panama three years later.”
“Still, they dare to blame Russia of ‘armed aggression’ when it stands up for its compatriots – who comprise the majority of Crimea’s population – in order to prevent ultra-nationalist forces from organizing yet another bloody Maidan.”
Apparently, Washington cannot adequately handle the development of events which are not in line with American templates, Moscow said. But this is no reason to shift the blame, the ministry concluded.
The two nuclear powers have been involved in a bitter dispute over the Ukrainian crisis, with Washington giving its backing to the coup-appointed government. The US has repeatedly accused Russia of “invading” the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, ignoring the fact that an existing 1997 agreement between Russia and Ukraine allows Moscow to keep up to 25,000 Black Sea Fleet troops in the peninsula.
Following the violent uprising which resulted in the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich,Crimean authorities denounced the coup-appointed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The government of the republic – which comprises of mostly Russian speakers – asked Moscow to provide assistance to ensure peace and order in the region.
Crimea is to decide in a March 16 referendum whether it wants to remain within Ukraine or join Russia.