DEEPER UKRAINE INVASION LURKS IN PUTIN'S WARNINGS, 'PROVOCATIONS,' CLASHES IN EAST

14.03.14


BLOOMBERG.  By Lyubov Pronina and Thomas Penny - Mar 14, 2014

Russia is outraged by a deadly clash in eastern Ukraine yesterday, though it has no plans to invade the region, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, as a standoff continues with the West over Crimea.

Russia “will respect the will of the Crimean peoples” when the peninsula votes in two days on leaving Ukraine and joining its former Soviet-era master, Lavrov told a news conference after talks in London today with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “The Russian Federation has no plans to invade southeastern regions of Ukraine.”

Lavrov described as “outrageous” clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian demonstrations in Donetsk, in which one protester died and 17 people were injured, according to the regional government. “Militants came to Donetsk from other regions and started fighting with demonstrators,” Lavrov said.

Related:

The U.S. and the European Union are threatening sanctions against Russia if it doesn’t back down from annexing Crimea. Ukraine’s Kiev-based cabinet says Russia has taken over the southern region and is massing troops on its border. Estonia’s defense minister said today the Kremlin is preparing to invade the east of Ukraine.

Cold War

The biggest dispute between Russia and the West since the fall of the Iron Curtain is shaking markets and threatening to upset more than two decades of economic and diplomatic integration between former Cold War enemies.

“Russia is aware of its responsibility for the lives of its countrymen and citizens and reserves the right to defend people,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement on its website today.

How the Crisis Began, Where It's Heading

“In addition to occupying the Crimea, Putin is preparing to also invade eastern Ukraine,” Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in an e-mailed statement that cited a speech in Tallinn. “To deter him, a clear message needs to be sent that an attack will cost the aggressor dearly.” Estonia, a former Soviet republic, is now a member of NATO.

 

To contact the reporters on this story: Lyubov Pronina in London at lpronina@bloomberg.net; Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net



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