Lavrov on the occupation of Crimea: ‘It was an absolutely free choice’ 



Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

Kyiv’s aggressive advance on the rights of the Crimean population forced it to make a free choice in favor of its self-determination. This was stated by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov during his speech at the UN General Assembly.

“The U.S. and European Union supported the coup in Ukraine, started making irresponsible justification of any action on part of the self-proclaimed Kyiv government which aimed to forcibly subdue the part of the Ukrainian nation which rejected the attempts to impose anti constitutional orders on the entire country, which wanted to fight for its rights to their mother tongue, culture, history. The aggressive advance on this rights forced the Crimean population to take their fate in their own hands and make a choice in favor of self-determination. It was an absolutely free choice, whatever those who are first and foremost responsible for the internal conflict in Ukraine might say,” said Lavrov.

According to him, the Ukrainian government is hiding facts and distorting reality when evaluating the situation in the country.

“The attempts to distort reality, hide the facts under empty accusations, were made at all stages of the Ukrainian crisis. Nothing is being done to identify and punish those to blame for the bloody events in February in Maidan, in the massacre in Odesa, Mariupol and other Ukrainian regions. The scale of the horrifying humanitarian catastrophe evoked by the action of Ukrainian servicemen in the southeast of the country were being hidden,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov called Ukraine and Russia fraternal nations and emphasized the Kremlin’s interest in restoring peace in the East.

“Russia is sincerely interested in restoring peace in the neighboring country, and everyone who is even slightly familiar with the history of the deepest fraternal connection between the two nations, should understand this,” said the Russian MFA.

According to him, in order to regulate the crisis, Ukraine should begin broad national dialogue with the goal of constitutional reform. “Russia is ready to continue actively assisting political regulation, both within the framework of the Minsk process and other formats,” said Lavrov.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

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