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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

Tuesday, Jan. 27


Observe the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekov's book will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.





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