Friday, August 22, 2014


Ukraine

Lavrov: 'No Intention' To Cross Ukraine's Border

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Related Articles

In UN Vote, Russia's 'Sphere of Influence' Hedges Its Bets

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly this week in favor of a resolution condemning Russia's annexation of Crimea. But perhaps more harmful for Moscow, only two of its former-Soviet neighbors voted against it.

Crimean Tatars Staging 'Self-Preservation' Patrols

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service spent a night with Crimean Tatars who are staging self-organized security patrols of the Crimean capital Simferopol.

Bordering On Delusion: Where Are All The Russian Refugees?

Is there really a refugee crisis on Russia's Ukrainian border as Moscow officials have claimed?

Complex Ties: Russia's Armed Forces Depend On Ukraine's Military Industry

The Russian forces massing on Ukraine's eastern border are largely equipped by Ukraine. It is an ironic fact that much of the materiel used by the Russian troops in Crimea, and those maneuvering on Ukraine's border, is produced by Kyiv's military industry.

Should Ukraine Get A Pass Because Russia Censors Too?

The Russian government is outraged about censorship -- in Ukraine. On March 25, a Kyiv district court ordered the temporary suspension of broadcasts by four major Russian television channels. Reports from Ukraine say most major providers had responded to the court order by midnight on March 27 and the Russian broadcasts, including First Channel, RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 and NTV Mir, are widely unavailable.
By RFE/RL
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia has “absolutely no intention and no interests” in ordering its armed forces to cross over the Ukrainian border. 

In an interview with Russian state television on March 29, Lavrov said the divisions between Moscow and the West on the Ukrainian crisis are “getting closer,” adding that recent contacts had shown the outlines of a "possible joint initiative which could be presented to our Ukrainian colleagues." 

Ukraine's National Security Service chief Andriy Parubiy has said that some 100,000 Russian troops were massed on Ukraine's border. Western officials have cited far lower figures.

Lavrov said that Moscow's priority was to see Ukraine implement reform that would create a federalized structure, with every region having a degree of autonomy. 

He also said Ukraine’s constitution should make clear that the country is a neutral state, ruling out NATO membership.

Later in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the Ukrainian crisis as well as the timing of further contact. It said the telephone call was initiated by the United States. 

Lavrov's comments come after similar reassurances from other Russian officials. UN chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters on March 28, after briefing the UN Security Council on his recent talks in Moscow and Kyiv, that Putin had reassured him there would be no invasion.

Ban also called on both Russia and Ukraine to engage in negotiations without further delay.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin spoke immediately after Ban, accusing the Western members of the Security Council of trying to create a false impression of imminent Russian aggression. 

"Our forces in Russia are undergoing their usual routine, staying in the barracks or doing some training. They are good forces, I must admit, but there is no worry of any Russian initiative against Ukraine," Churkin said. 

Obama Warning

On March 28, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia to pull back Russian troops from the border with Ukraine. 

The White House said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin called Obama on March 28, while the U.S. president was in Saudi Arabia -- the latest stop in a weeklong trip dominated by the Ukrainian crisis. 

During the hour-long phone conversation, Obama urged Russia to offer a written response to a diplomatic proposal to the Ukraine crisis that the Washington has presented.

The proposal was developed after consultations with Ukraine and other European partners. It reportedly provides for the deployment of international monitors to protect the rights of Russian speakers in Crimea, and the return of Russian troops there to their bases.

Obama told Putin that Ukraine's government is pursuing deescalation despite Russia's incursion into Crimea, and urged Putin to avoid further provocations including the build-up of forces on its borders with Ukraine.
 
Separately, the Kremlin press service said in a statement that during their phone conversation, Putin drew Obama's attention to "the continuing rampage by extremists in Ukraine."
 
With reporting by CBS News, Reuters, and ITAR-TASS

Most Popular