West turned Ukraine into foothold to threaten Russia: Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accuses the west of using Ukraine as a facade to threaten Russia by pumping it with weapons.
The United States and the United Kingdom have taken a risk by opting to give Ukraine multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Bosnian-Serbian television and radio corporation Radio and Television of the Republika Srpska.
"You see how Ukraine is being pumped with weapons and heavy armaments. Now the Americans are providing them with MLRS. Then the British, who obviously had been waiting for the go-ahead from Washington, came along saying: now we will give MLRS to the Ukrainians as well. This is a risky path," Lavrov stressed.
Such actions by Washington and London, he believes, could result in an even higher death toll among Ukrainians. "Meanwhile, they say the Ukrainians are fighting with the Russians and are dying, let them die, and we are just providing weapons, which in the end lead to the deaths of a bigger number of Ukrainians," Russia’s top diplomat said.
CIA and British intelligence officers active in Ukraine
Lavrov stated that hundreds of CIA and British intelligence officers had been working in Ukraine for many years.
"There was no doubt that Ukraine was being pumped with weapons. Hundreds of CIA and British intelligence officers worked there. I think they have been there for ten years already, occupying huge premises in the buildings of official Ukrainian services and agencies. They actually control everything there," the top Russian diplomat said.
According to Lavrov, by refusing Russia's proposals and compromises, the West "justified the worst fears that in practice they were turning Ukraine into a foothold to threaten and restrain the Russian Federation."
"That's why we had no other choice but to recognize these republics (the People’s republics of Donetsk ad Lugansk). The LPR and the DPR were supposed to receive a special status from Ukraine and remain part of Ukraine. In relation to them, the Ukrainian armed forces, "national battalions" continued an aggressive line, daily shelling. During the years of sabotage of the Minsk agreements, 14,000 civilians were killed as a result of direct shelling of cities, civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, kindergartens," the Foreign Minister stressed.
Russia will support a solution acceptable to the Serbian people
Russia will support a solution acceptable to the Serbian people in the negotiations over the future of Kosovo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in his interview.
"As for Russia's attitude to the negotiations on the future of Kosovo, which are ongoing and should be based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244, President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has repeatedly stressed both at meetings with President Aleksandar Vucic and in his public speeches that we fully support the position of Serbia. We will support a solution that will be acceptable to the Serbian people," he said.
The top diplomat also referred to the UN International Court of Justice's ruling on the legitimacy of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, claiming that the West was hypocritical in celebrating the court's pronouncements on the Kosovo issue while condemning the Crimean referendum.
"In 2014, under the influence of the events initiated by the bloody anti-state coup in Ukraine and an attempt to seize the Crimea by the Nazis, the Crimeans held a referendum, and the West began to resent. Then, President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin said that we know well their double standards. We remember how they rejoiced when the International Court of Justice stated that a unilateral declaration of independence may not necessarily take place with the consent of the central authorities. He said this solely to show the absolute hypocrisy, duplicity, and double standards of the West," Lavrov said.