Russia Wants 'Third World War,' Says Ukrainian PM

World | April 25, 2014, Friday // 14:11
Bulgaria: Russia Wants 'Third World War,' Says Ukrainian PM Pro-Russian protesters stand guard near the occupied regional administration building, in Donetsk, Ukraine. Despite from strong accusations thrown from both sides, only a war of words is being led for now. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russia wants to start a "third world war", Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk suggested during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

During the event that was broadcast live on Ukrainian television, Yatsenyuk spoke of a military and political "occupation" to which his country was subjected by Russia.

He was quoted by The Guardian as saying that Moscow's aim was "to wreck the election in Ukraine" and to "remove the pro-western and pro-Ukrainian government and occupy Ukraine politically as well as militarily".

Ukraine's Prime Minister urged Russia to act within its obligations under April 17's Geneva accord, which calls on armed groups in towns and cities across rebel-seized Donetsk and Luhansk to disarm and withdraw from occupied buildings.

The West and Ukraine hold that Russia is strongly assisting the separatists who have called for a referendum on their status within the country and for the resignation of Kiev's interim government.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said Ukraine was leading "a war against its own people", referring to the "anti-terrorist" operation Ukrainian special forces are carrying out in the east and south of the country.

Clashes between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian separatists took the lives of five rebels on near a checkpoint into the occupied city of Slaviansk on Thursday.

The deaths triggered a new phase of the war of words which the West and Ukraine have been leading against Russia since the standoff between Kiev and Moscow began, with US Secretary of State John Kerry harshly accusing Russia of fueling the unrest on its neighbor's territory.

The Kremlin has insisted that Kiev withdraw armed forces from regions near the Russian borders and has announced military exercises close to the common frontiers.

Friday reports of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung suggest that Russian units have been spotted moving approximately 1 km away from the border.

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Tags: Yatsenyuk, Russia, Lavrov, Ukraine, US, Kerry, Kiev, rebels, separatists, Slaviansk
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