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Lavrov Says Nationalists to Blame for Kiev Snipers

Published: March 31, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at an Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012.
    Photo: M. Stulov / Vedomosti

In an interview given to Russian state media on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that snipers who wounded and killed numerous protesters during the Euromaidan movement could have been lead by the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector.

Although he noted that he was not 100 percent certain, Lavrov said that "many factors point to this [conclusion]," RIA Novosti reported. The minister said there was evidence suggesting several cases of violence instigated by the group, which, according to the long-serving official, includes the organization of the snipers in central Kiev.

Lavrov also noted that Moscow has already shared their concerns about nationalists with Western partners, and he hopes that the investigation of the issue will not be "swept under the carpet."

Right Sector has been under the spotlight in recent days after Ukrainian security forces killed one of the group's leaders during an attempt to arrest him in western Ukraine, sparking anti-government statements from and the subsequent detention of some of the group's members.

During Sunday's interview on Russia's Channel One, Lavrov said that Russia is fully behind the establishment of a new Ukrainian constitution that provides for a federal structure that would protect the right's of Russian speakers in the country's east.

Lavrov also said he hoped Russia and Western countries could "express a common position" with regards to matters in Kiev, stating that the West had previously tried to "separate Ukraine from Russia."

The interview came after Lavrov categorically denied Western claims that Russia was planning an invasion of Ukraine, having positioned troops close to its borders, saying, "We have absolutely no intention and no interests in crossing the borders of Ukraine."

Western leaders are concerned that Russia is planning an incursion into mainland Ukraine, after initial violence in Kiev led to Moscow's claims that Russians in the country were under threat, an explanation that ultimately led to Russia's annexing Crimea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Lavrov Sunday evening in Paris to discuss Ukraine for the first time since Russia and the U.S. exchanged sanctions following the annexation.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphoto’s exhibition “On Both Sides,” chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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