Moscow accuses US diplomats of ‘puppeteering’ Ukraine
A leading Russian Foreign Ministry official has condemned the US State Department attempts to influence the political situation in volatile Ukraine and warned that such behavior could lead to tragic results.
The United States is trying to impose a “Western vector of development” on Ukraine while camouflaging their intent with calls not to obstruct the free choice of the Ukrainian people, Russian news agencies quoted the ministry’s Aleksandr Lukashevich as saying.
The Russian diplomat called such an attitude “puppeteering”, adding that the recent statement by US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was a typical example. In the statement, the US gave instructions regarding future actions of the Ukrainian government, Lukashevich said. Such instructions included a demand to stop all cases against the participants in the street riots, and to immediately start to form a multi-party technical government, the Russian official stated.
Such US behavior is very well known and it leads to tragic results, the Foreign Ministry representative emphasized.
Lukashevich also said that the US had apparently started "casting" for future places in the technical Ukrainian government, or at least such a conclusion could be made from a telephone conversation by a top US diplomats that had been made public on YouTube. In the clip that appeared on the internet in early February, Washington's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, is heard saying “f**k the EU" while speaking with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyat, on how to end the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine. The conversation continues with Nuland suggesting that one of Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitaly Klichko is not fit for government work and should make way for another candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
As fresh violence erupted on Kiev's streets on Tuesday the Russian Foreign Ministry issued another statement. It considers the crisis “a direct result of the permissiveness policy exercised by those western politicians and European structures who were from the very beginning turning a blind eye at the aggressive actions of the radical forces in Ukraine.” The ministry added that such an attitude was encouraging the radicals to escalate the violence and further provoke their opponents.
Russian diplomats again called upon the Ukrainian opposition to abandon threats and ultimatums and start a meaningful dialogue with the authorities in order to take the country out of the deep crisis.
Russian politicians have repeatedly called on their foreign colleagues to abstain from interfering in the Ukrainian political crisis. In January the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament passed separate declarations that called the civil unrest in Kiev an organized campaign aimed at displacing lawfully elected officials. The Russian MPs also warned that the Ukrainian crisis could have grave consequences for the country’s people, statehood and territorial integrity.
President Vladimir Putin also expressed concern about the political situation in Ukraine in late January but assured that Russia would not cancel its help to the Ukrainian economy and people if Ukraine also honors the agreements.
In mid-December the Russian and Ukrainian presidents agreed on a plan under which Russia is buying $15bn of Ukrainian debt in 2-year bonds and also giving Ukraine a $3.5 billion discount on natural gas purchases on behalf of state-owned Gazprom. Ukrainians will pay $268.5 per thousand cubic meters of natural gas instead of $400, a nearly 33 percent discount.
At a recent government conference Putin spoke of the aid plan and told officials that all contracts with Ukraine must be completely fulfilled. However, the President added that Russia would wait for Ukraine to form a new government before starting to execute its obligations.