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Russia Blames Ukraine Escalation On Western 'Connivance'

Antigovernment protesters hurl Molotov cocktails as they attack an office of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions in Kyiv on February 18.
Russia has blamed the West for an escalation of tensions in Ukraine.

In a statement on February 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the escalation was a "direct result of connivance by Western politicians and European structures who since the beginning of the crisis have shut their eyes on the aggressive actions of radical forces."

It called on the Ukrainian opposition to "refrain from threats and ultimatums and establish a substantive dialogue with the authorities with the aim of extricating the country from deep crisis."

It also said the opposition was no longer in control of the protest movement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement came amid renewed clashes between riot police and antigovernment protesters in Kyiv.

Based on reporting by Interfax, Reuters, and AFP