News / Europe

Russia Warns Ukraine Against Use of Force

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned Kyiv that if it uses force against pro-Russian protesters in Ukraine, Moscow will pull out of a multilateral conference on the issue scheduled for later this week.

The warning from Russia's foreign minister came Tuesday during a short visit to Beijing, where he met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and China's President Xi Jinping.

Lavrov said "You can't send in tanks and at the same time hold talks. The use of force sabotages the opportunity for the four-party negotiations to be held in Geneva," he added.

Lavrov made his comments during at a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang told reporters that the decision to hold multilateral talks in Geneva on Thursday is a positive step.

He said China welcomes the fact that all relevant parties - including Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine - are working on the establishment of multilateral talks. "We would be happy to see it succeed as it is in line with China's calls to advocating peace and talks." he said.

At a time when Russia is finding itself increasingly at odds with Western powers, its ties with China are strengthening. Statements released by China's foreign ministry after Tuesday's meetings highlighted the growing closeness between Moscow and Beijing.

Chinese officials say Lavrov's trip to Beijing was largely a visit to finalize preparations for a visit to China next month by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During President Xi Jinping's meeting with Lavrov, China's leader stressed the great importance of strategic ties between the two countries, according to a foreign ministry statement. Xi also said both were experiencing a historic highpoint in ties and that relations would not only benefit both countries and their people, but help promote peace and stability in the world.

The statement said that in addition to discussing Putin's upcoming visit, the two also talked about the situation in Ukraine, with Xi outlining China's views. The statement did not elaborate.

As China works to grow its ties with Russia, the situation in Ukraine has tested Beijing on the diplomatic front. When the United Nations voted on a resolution condemning the separatist referendum in Crimea, China abstained.

That move further isolated Russia, but it also kept Beijing from aligning itself unequivocally with the United States and Europe.

Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution in Washington says the Chinese are of several minds when it comes to the Ukraine situation.

"On the one hand, Ukraine is very far distant from China and they know it and it is not connected to what the Chinese would deem their vital interests or what they call their core interests," he said. "On the other hand, the Chinese are well aware that the Russians have chosen to violate policies and principles that China holds dear or claims to hold dear about protection of territorial sovereignty, no intrusion on the internal affairs of another state."

Russia's annexation of Crimea has heightened concerns in Asia that China might use force to pursue its territorial claims in the region.

Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Daniel Russel, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told lawmakers that the sanctions against Russia from the United States and the European Union should have a chilling effect on anyone in China who might consider using Russia's annexation of Crimea as a model.

China says the two are completely different issues and that Beijing has made its position on both its territorial claims and Ukraine clear.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Alfredo G from: Orlando Fl
April 15, 2014 6:48 PM
The Russian are a ocean of contradictions when they are talking about of the self-determination. In Syria conflict they are support politic about it not intervention but in Ukraine it does all contrary.

I think the communist only change the operation face.

by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
April 15, 2014 12:56 PM
The new world order is an east - west division with Russia and America. At the centre is Europe with a north - south division which in turn centres on the queen of the north (Elizabeth) and the Queen of the South. Authority is with America so best not give Russia any moves.None at all.

by: Carlos .. . from: Ukraine and CA
April 15, 2014 12:47 PM
Dig this President Obama! The only way to stop a dictator is to let him know you are stronger than he is and that you are willing to fight. You need to "man up" and quit surrendering to bully dictators ! The Syrian dictator Assad should have been gone 1000 days ago like the dictator Gaddafi. The Kremlin has been running a dictatorship since it ended elections in 2004 .. who yes .. there are elections now but the Kremlin must approve the candidates! And the Kremlin took over all three national TV networks! Journalism is free as long as you can stay alive.. The Kremlin wants Ukraine to join a Union with two other dictatorships, Kazakistan and Belarus, where the dictators have been ruling for 20 years! Get real!

by: VT_FARMER from: VT
April 15, 2014 12:42 PM
Regarding Russia: anyone who promises more of what they are already doing must be stood up against, regardless. To dodge the bullet in your face only puts you in the path of the one in your back.
Liberty isn't for cowards.

by: WW from: DC
April 15, 2014 12:39 PM
Funny guy this Lavrov. In Syria talks he specifically spoke of the Syrian government's need to protect its citizens when a ceasefire was presented as a precondition for talks with Assad. Now that it's Ukraine, the Russians provoke unrest, instigate violence, then when the Ukrainian government wants to move in to bring back some normality, they're saying this will threaten the planned talks. That whole Kremlin cabal is just full of hypocrites.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs