Russian Foreign Minister Urges West to Stay Out of Ukraine

Politics » DIPLOMACY | January 21, 2014, Tuesday // 17:31| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Russian Foreign Minister Urges West to Stay Out of Ukraine Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged European leaders and diplomats to refrain from interfering in the Ukraine crisis.

"We'd prefer that some of our European colleagues would not act so unceremoniously over the Ukrainian crisis, when without any invitations members of some European governments hurried to Maidan and took part in anti-government demonstrations", Lavrov told reporters, cited by RIA Novosti.

Clashes erupted in Kiev on Sunday, after long-lasting peaceful pro-EU rallies. At least 30 people have been arrested in the past days, and about 100 injured, including journalists and dozens of police officers.

The violent clashes were sparked by controversial laws passed last week, which widely limit the freedom of public expression, and allow the authorities to impose hefty fines and jail sentences to anti-government protesters.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers released a statement expressing "deep concern" about the new legislation, which they said was passed under "doubtful procedural circumstances."

Lavrov suggested that the most recent riots had been partly sparked by influence from abroad. This is not the first time since the protests began in November, when Russia openly criticizes western leaders and diplomats for their reactions.

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