Press TV – 2014-06-05 02:00:49
Russian Official Accuses US of Arming Ukrainian “Militants”
Putin Accuses US of Hypocrisy over Ukraine Crisis
(June 4, 2014) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of hypocrisy in its “aggressive” attempts to punish Moscow for the crisis in Ukraine.
Putin made the remarks on Wednesday following criticism by US President Barack Obama over Russia’s actions during the Ukraine crisis.
“We have almost no military forces abroadâ€¦. [However,] everywhere in the world there are American military bases, American troops thousands of kilometers from their borders,” said Putin, adding, “They interfere in the interior affairs of this or that country. So it is difficult to accuse us of abuses.”
The Russian president’s remarks came after Obama earlier in the day accused Moscow of using “dark tactics” to revive a Russian empire. Obama also condemned what he called Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and “separation” of the Crimea from Ukraine.
The US president made the comments after a meeting with Ukraine’s President-elect Petro Poroshenko in the Polish capital, Warsaw, in which he promised full support for Kiev.
The US announced that it would send an additional USD 5 million in equipment to Kiev, as Ukraine’s military continues to stage operations against pro-Russia protesters in the country’s east.
Obama’s visit to Europe is meant to reassure NATO allies of US support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
Tensions between the United States and Russia heightened after Ukraine’s former Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March, in which 96.8 percent of Crimeans voted for the reunion of Crimea with Russia.
The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.
Russia’s Lavrov Calls For Explaination
From US Over CIA Head’s Reported Visit to Kiev
(Apr 14, 2014) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called for explanation from Washington over reports of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director’s recent visit to Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev.
“We would like, in particular, to understand the meaning of these reports about CIA Director [John] Brennan’s recent visit to Kiev,” Lavrov said during a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
He noted that the US government has so far failed to come up with “reasonable explanations” about the controversial visit during the weekend.
His remarks came two days after reports from a source in the Ukrainian parliament suggesting that the CIA director had visited Kiev and held a meeting with the country’s leaders, as well as with representatives of Ukraine’s security agencies.
Russia’s top diplomat also accused the West of “off-the-scale” hypocrisy over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. “We can remember when violence on [Kiev’s Independence Square, known as the] Maidan, that ended with dozens and dozens of deaths, was called democracy, while peaceful protests that are ongoing now in southeastern Ukraine are called terrorism,” Lavrov added.
Kiev started an “anti-terrorist operation” on Sunday in order to crack down on pro-Russia protests in Slavyansk, which is about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Ukraine’s industrial city of Donetsk.
This came a day after armed demonstrators seized the town’s police station and its SBU security service building, calling for a referendum on unification with Russia.
In addition to Slavyansk, protesters have reportedly taken control of state buildings in a number of other Ukrainian cities, including Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Mikolayev.
Pro-Russia rallies gained momentum after the Crimean territory declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining Russia, with a turnout of more than 83 percent.
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