LAVROV: ” Americans are not ready to admit they cannot run the show”

As the standoff in the eastern Ukraine deteriorates into violence it’s up to world powers to step in and calm things down. Despite tough talk from Washington, the US, EU, Russia and Ukraine have managed to reach a framework to peace in Geneva. But will it be enough to avert a civil war? Sophie asks the Russian Foreign minister himself — Sergey Lavrov is on Sophie&Co today.

Entretien avec Robert Steuckers sur la Syrie, l’Ukraine et l’OTAN

Robert Steuckers est une figure de la « Nouvelle Droite », ancien membre du mouvement GRECE et fondateur du mouvement « Synergies européennes ». Dans cet entretien, il propose une analyse à la fois historique et géopolitique des tentatives de subversion opérées dans le monde arabe et la sphère d’influence russe par la thalassocratie anglo-états-unienne.
 

Putin on Kiev op: ‘Tanks, jets against own people?! Are they nuts?!’

Activists block a collumn of Ukrainian men riding on Armoured Personnel Carriers in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014 (AFP Photo / Anatoly Stepanov)

Putin has criticized Ukraine’s coup-appointed government for using tanks and jets against its own people, during a live Q&A session. Branding Kiev’s approach as a “crime,” Putin said they must open dialogue with eastern Ukraine.

“Have they lost their minds!?” said Putin during his annual question and answer session. “They are deploying tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry! Against whom?! Are they nuts?!”

The Russian president said he thought that asking activists in the southeast of Ukraine to hand in their weapons was the right approach, but this measure should also be applied to armed Ukrainian nationalist groups.

Putin went on to say the crisis in Ukraine can only be solved through a compromise in the interests of the Ukrainian people.

“The coup-appointed government in Kiev needs to come to its senses before we can negotiate,” said Putin.

In spite of the fact the interim government is illegitimate, Russia is still prepared to open dialogue with them, said Putin. Ukraine’s interim government came to power on February 22 after weeks of violent protests on Kiev’s Independence Square. They ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and declared elections in May, something that violates the Ukrainian constitution.

NATO’s reinforcement of its presence in eastern Europe was also touched upon during Putin’s Q&A session. Head of Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Dmitry Kiselev, said that he felt like NATO was “suffocating him” and described the organization as “a cancerous tumor.”

Dmitry Kiselev was included in the list of Russian politicians who were hit by Western sanctions following the Crimean referendum that led to the region’s integration with Russia.

In a tongue-in-cheek response, Putin told Kiselev not to be afraid of NATO, assuring him that “Russia would suffocate everyone else.”

NATO has accused Russia of attempting to destabilize Ukraine, something that Russia categorically denied. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov told the press on Monday that Russia had no interest in promoting crisis in Ukraine, and the West needs to produce evidence to support its accusations.

Source: Russia Today

Russia not afraid of NATO expansion

© Photo: RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he does not fear the enlargement of NATO. “We have no fear – I do not have and no one else should have this either. Yet we have to bear the realities in mind,” Putin said in a Q&A session on Thursday. He called for taking a sober view of the situation concerning the further enlargement of the alliance. “We will choke them all. What are you afraid of?” Putin said while answering a question to the expansion of NATO.

President Putin’s annual broadcast Q&A session: LIVE UPDATES

NATO’s Rasmussen pledged on Wednesday to step up patrols and boost its military presence along the alliance’s eastern border in Europe, citing Russia’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen said in Brussels.

This move has come as another sign that the alliance was tightening its grip on Eastern Europe where it is already running air-policing and surveillance missions over Poland, Romania and the Baltic trio.

NATO member states earlier released separate announcements saying they were suspending military cooperation with Russia after Crimean residents voted overwhelmingly to join Russia in a referendum, which the West considers illegitimate and Russia says is in line with the UN charter and the international law.

According to Russian experts, the suspension of military cooperation with NATO will do no harm to Russian interests or security.

Russia has vociferously opposed any further eastward expansion by NATO, particularly by former Soviet republics on its borders. Vladimir Putin said last week Moscow was open to further cooperation with NATO, but remained opposed to the organization’s presence in historic Russian territories.

Presidential race in Ukraine proceeding in absolutely unacceptable forms; if this continues, we will be unable to recognize elections – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the current election campaign in Ukraine has unacceptable forms, and if it continues to take place in such forms, the Russian authorities will not be able to recognize the legitimacy of Ukraine’s upcoming presidential polls. “The presidential race is proceeding in absolutely unacceptable forms. If it continues like this, we certainly will be unable to recognize the events that will follow May 25 [the Ukrainian presidential elections] as legitimate,” Putin said during his annual Q&A session on Thursday.

Compromise needs to be reached by Ukrainian political forces, not Russia, US – Putin

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