Washington's approach to the events in Ukraine is not fueled by concerns about the fate of the crisis-torn state, but rather by the desire to prove it is still running the show worldwide, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
The way the situation in Ukraine is reported in mainstream media indicates that “unfortunately, the information machine of our Western colleagues is working at full capacity,” Lavrov said following talks with his Chilean counterpart, Heraldo Munoz, in Santiago.
The US is trying to shape public opinion in a specific manner “because they are not concerned by the fate of Ukraine in the first place, but have strong desire to prove that it’s them who decides how things should be – always and everywhere,” Lavrov stated.
The foreign minister stressed that sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies are the result of such a stance, and will have a costly outcome for Washington in the long run.
However, Moscow currently has no plans to retaliate against the “meaningless” sanctions from the West, he said.
“At this stage, we want to give our partners a chance to calm down,” Lavrov said. “We’ll see what happens next. If absolutely baseless notations towards Russia will continue, if there are attempts to pressure us with economic leverage, then we may reevaluate the situation.”
Lavrov has advised the US to “discipline those whom they brought to power in Ukraine” instead of sanctioning Moscow.
He stated that despite declaring themselves “winners of the
democratic revolution,” the current government in Kiev is
based “on a coalition which includes candid radicals and
extremists, condemned even by the EU back in 2012 when the
Svoboda party first made it to parliament.”
“But now the Europeans are shyly forgetting about that and cooperate with those same people,” Lavrov added.
The minister stressed the need to establish a direct dialogue between the coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities and protestors in the nation's southeast in order to solve the crisis in the country.
“The role of Russia, the US, and Europe, or any other interested state, isn’t about blanching one of sides of the Ukrainian conflict,” he said.
Lavrov also stated that Moscow has made an attempt to establish a
dialogue by proposing a ‘round table’ discussion between Kiev and
representatives of the southeastern regions within the framework
of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
“However, the US and EU representatives have blocked this initiative,” he stressed. “This is sad. We’ll continue to call for the full implementation of the Geneva Declaration, which our partners are trying to distance themselves from.”
As for the OSCE observers who are still being held by anti-Kiev protesters in the town of Slavyansk, Russia is “urging for them to be released,” Lavrov said.
“But we cannot decide for the self-defense forces,” he
added. “Those people live under a constant threat coming from
Kiev that the military and armored vehicles will be used against
them; under constant threat from the extremists.”
Southeastern Ukraine has been gripped by ongoing protests, with the majority of its Russian-speaking population refusing to recognize the new authorities in Kiev, who took the reins via a military coup powered by far-right radicals.
Activists in Donetsk, Lugansk, and other regions have seized government buildings and are demanding a referendum on federalization.
Despite failing to provide any proof, Washington continues to blame Moscow for masterminding the uprising in Ukraine's southeast.
The US and its allies have already imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, targeting individual politicians and businessmen, as well as several companies.