News / Europe

Lavrov Says Russia Will Not Interfere in Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses a news conference after a NATO-Russia foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Dec. 4, 2013.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses a news conference after a NATO-Russia foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Dec. 4, 2013.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow will not interfere in the political unrest in neighboring Ukraine and says other nations should stay out of the dispute as well. Demonstrations have been growing since late last month, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union, saying the country needed to develop closer ties with Russia.

NATO foreign ministers meeting here for talks on Afghanistan have found themselves in a series of side discussions about the political unrest Ukraine, including questions about how the trans-Atlantic alliance might respond if Russia sent troops across the border to put down anti-government protests.

Speaking to reporters at NATO headquarters, Lavrov says he can not understand why anyone would even raise the question of Russian interference.

"It helps to create some kind of distorted picture and sends wrong signals which may cause the wrong understanding of the situation. We act on the assumption that it is up to the Ukraine. It is its domestic issue," he said.

Lavrov says Moscow does not understand the aggression of the Ukrainian opposition to President Yanukovych, who he says was exercising his rights as the nation's chief executive to ratify or not ratify agreements with the European Union.

"The fact that they were not signed, does it mean that we need to start a demonstration in any country in this case? I hope that Ukrainian politicians will be able to bring the situation into the peaceful vein and we urge everyone not to interfere," he said.

  • Ukrainian police officers stand in line during protests in Kyiv, Dec. 6, 2013. 
  • Kyiv's City Hall is now an organizational hub for protesters who have occupied the building, Dec. 6, 2013.
  • Protesters rest inside Kyiv's City Hall building, Dec. 6, 2013.
  • Supporters of Ukrainian EU integration sing and wave flags during a protest in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building in Kyiv,  Dec. 6, 2013. 
  • Protesters eat at their tent camp in Independence Square in Kyiv, Dec. 5, 2013.
  • Protesters drum on empty barrels as they rally in front of a government building in Kyiv, Dec. 5, 2013.
  • A man wrapped in a Ukrainian flag distributes tea to protesters at Independence Square in Kyiv, Dec. 4, 2013.
  • A man carrying a Ukrainian flag gestures as he stands on top of a bridge overlooking Independence Square, Kyiv, Dec. 4, 2013.
  • Protesters clash with police during a demonstration in support of EU integration in Kyiv, Dec. 3, 2013.
  • Police stand guard over protesters in front of parliament during a demonstration in support of EU integration, Dec. 3, 2013.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov is warning anti-government protests to stop escalating tensions as human rights groups express concern about a police crackdown on demonstrators.

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says it has documented incidents in which police, responding to reports of protester violence, beat people who were not behaving violently and in some cases caused head injuries.

Prime Minister Azarov has said that Ukraine wants to further integrate with the EU, but cannot afford trade losses with Russia, which is Ukraine's largest foreign investor and trading partner and opposes closer Ukraine-EU relations.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters at NATO Tuesday that President Yanukovych has "obviously made a personal decision" with which the Ukrainian people do not agree.

"They ought to be able to decide who they want to affiliate with, without a bidding war either in personal terms or in national terms, but rather based on the benefits that are available to them and the life that comes with it and the rights and benefits that they would like to be able to reach out to," he said.

The Ukrainian opposition failed to force out the government Tuesday with a parliamentary no-confidence vote. The measure won the support of 186 mainly opposition lawmakers, 40 short of the majority needed to pass.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Svastilla from: Ukraine
December 04, 2013 12:26 PM
if you believe that - you are a fool. Russia will not interfere in Ukraine... give me a break... but let me tell you, it will definitely become far more complicated for Russia to interfere in the future... and If we could relay on the US to help us it would have been better... but the US is under some foreign occupation...completely lost their credibility...
In Response

by: JeffHB from: USA
December 04, 2013 2:48 PM
I think there are many Americans who are sympathetic to the problems faced by the Ukrainian people. What would you want America to do?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs