Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed as “not serious” reports of Russian agents captured in Ukraine. He accused US politicians of distorting facts and wrongfully interpreting the Geneva agreement on de-escalation.
Lavrov lashed out at western politicians while speaking at a young diplomats’ forum in Moscow. The minister accused his counterparts in the EU and the US of making unsubstantiated statements.
"Kerry has many times mentioned that Ukrainian intelligence
captured Russian agents,” Lavrov said. “So, show them to
the people, have them on TV. Kerry says they don’t want to
disclose the identities of those people who are engaged in the
captures. This is not serious.”
While the west is accusing Russia of not following through on the Geneva agreement, Lavrov believes the attitude stems from misinterpretation of the de-escalation agreement.
“Representatives of the US State Department, Victoria Nuland in particular, claim that in Geneva we agreed upon ‘separatists’ leaving the occupied buildings,” Lavrov said. “This is a lie, this could not have been written, because we were promoting the approach that ensures the simultaneity of processes and equal responsibilities of the sides when it comes to vacating illegally occupied buildings and disarming illegal groups.”
Lavrov said that Russia would not allow the distortion of the text of the Geneva agreement. He also questioned assertions made by John Kerry a day earlier concerning Kiev’s full compliance with the Geneva agreement. Kerry said authorities in the Ukrainian capital were “removing the barricades in the Maidan and cleaning up the square.”
“Instead of tires, they are now setting up concrete blocks there,” Lavrov said. “No one is going to clear the place.”
Lavrov complained that his western counterparts were not abandoning the language of slogans, even in one-on-one telephone conversations.
“If you think that when John Kerry, William Hague or Laurent Fabius call me, they speak differently in those personal contacts and say something you don’t know from their public speeches, you are mistaken,” Lavrov said, adding that he was still making attempts to have a real constructive dialogue with the officials he mentioned.
All kinds of sanctions against Russia are a sign of Western states having “got lost in their own game,” he said.
“The West generally wants – and the whole thing started with that – to capture Ukraine, with the intention being solely based on geopolitical ambition, not on the interests of the Ukrainian people.”
When the West realized it couldn’t get it its own way, it grew frustrated, Lavrov said. The frustration has been revealed in the “hard efforts on the sanctions trackway.”