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12 Aug, 2021 15:11

By indulging Ukraine's claims to Crimea, West is encouraging country's ‘neo-Nazi’ government policy, thunders Russian FM Lavrov

By indulging Ukraine's claims to Crimea, West is encouraging country's ‘neo-Nazi’ government policy, thunders Russian FM Lavrov

Moscow's top diplomat has reacted angrily to news that representatives of more than two dozen nations will attend a summit called by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to discuss how Kiev can now reassert control over Crimea.

Speaking to a group of young people involved with an art collective based on the disputed peninsula on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the West's support was pushing Zelensky to be more and more extreme in pursuit of his policy goals. The 'Crimean Platform' forum, he said, “will continue to nurture the neo-Nazi and racist mentality of the current Ukrainian government.”

Blasting the participation of foreign attendees, he said that the US, EU and other supporters of Kiev's claims were behaving “shamefully.” At least 37 states are expected to send delegates to the event, which will be timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union on August 24.

Also on rt.com EXCLUSIVE: Ultranationalist organizations are radicalizing Ukraine’s young people, and the Kiev government is paying them for it

In April, Lavrov's official spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, argued that Ukraine was recklessly indulging far-right sentiments to prop up its government and strengthen anti-Russian feeling. Speaking after demonstrators at a march in Kiev raised banners and carried flowers to commemorate the SS Galicia division, raised from Ukrainian levies to fight alongside Nazi Germany, Zakharova said government policy was an “insult” to those who had died in World War II.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed concern at the time over the celebration of a unit that had been, it said, “involved in some of the worst crimes that took place during the Holocaust.”

In December, an RT investigation found that Kiev's Ministry of Youth and Sports was handing over cash to far-right groups to run children's camps, in which young people could be at risk of indoctrination. Annual military-style camps see teenagers fighting hand-to-hand, lighting flares and marching in formation. The organizers of one camp, linked to Nazi-sympathizing political organizations, said that the participation of their graduates in fighting in eastern Ukraine was proof their method was working to engender a sense of “patriotism.”

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