Putin’s envoy denies Russia coordinates Ukrainian separatists’ actions

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Slovyansk, May 3, 2014) The Russian president’s special envoy Vladimir Lukin has commented on an audio recording, posted online by the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU], which, according to the SBU, was Lukin’s telephone conversation with leader of the Slovyansk defence forces Igor Strelkov.

According to Lukin, this conversation did take place but its content has nothing to do with the SBU’s allegations the Russian side is coordinating the militia’s actions.

“I had a conversation with a man who was introduced to me as Igor Ivanovich (Streklov), who took part in the release the hostages (OSCE observers),” Lukin said, responding to a question from RIA Novosti about the interception of the conversation published by the SBU.

“We did not discuss other topics,” Lukin said.

Earlier the SBU said on its website that the telephone conversation between Lukin and Strelkov “show that the official Russian side is coordinating the actions of the militants and ! has direct influence on their decisions”.

On Saturday [3 May] Lukin said that the OSCE military observers had been released in Slovyansk.