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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid