Churkin: time to stop looking for hand of Moscow in Ukrainian events

UN Building file photo

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – It is time to stop looking for the hand of Moscow in the Ukrainian events, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said at a UN Security Council meeting. He dismissed as concoctions the allegations that Russia had amassed significant military forces on the border.

“The possibility of averting a civil war in Ukraine depends precisely on the West,” he said.

“Some people in this room are stubbornly refusing to see the real reasons for the Ukrainian situation and keep looking for the hand of Moscow in the events in southeastern [regions]. It is time they stop doing so,” Churkin stated.

“It is hardly surprising that the Rada responded to peaceful political protests, requests and appeals of southeastern Ukraine to listen to its aspirations with draconian laws introducing long prison sentences for dissidents branded as separatists,” Churkin said.

Instead of looking for a peaceful way out of the crisis, Ukrainian interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced on April 13 the intention of starting an extensive anti-terrorism operation involving the Armed Forces.

“Given the fact that the protesters had never terrorized anyone, had not crushed the police with a bulldozer and had not thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police in contrast to the Maidan [fighters], it was not accidental that law enforcement officers in some cities took the side of the protesters, and the Kyiv authorities had to move the deterrence forces from other regions of the country,” the envoy said.

“Turchynov ordered city residents in southeastern Ukraine to stop protests by Monday morning, April 14, under the threat of the use of the Armed Forces. Any account of the opinion and interests of the protesters has not been even mentioned,” Churkin said.

“A military operation of the kind has spilled blood in southeastern Ukraine. The situation is very dangerous, and its further escalation must be prevented immediately,” Churkin said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power told the UN Security Council that Washington backed Ukraine and believed that the Ukrainian people must choose a future on their own. She criticized the conduct of Moscow in the Ukrainian crisis and claimed that Russia had orchestrated the organized actions in eastern Ukraine.

Power also promised that the U.S. would decide on granting $1 billion to Ukraine as loan guarantees within the next 24 hours.