Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied allegations that the current unrest in southeastern Ukraine is the work of supposed Russian agents.
Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deschytsia called Lavrov on
Saturday and, “in the course of the conversation, tried to hold Russia
accountable for the aggravation of the situation in the south and
southeast of Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“He claimed that some Russian agents are active in those regions, and that several of them have been arrested already,” it said.
“Lavrov answered that there was no reason for such allegations. He
mentioned that similar complaints about Russia came from Washington but
that no specific facts had been cited to us,” the ministry said.
“[Lavrov] stressed the responsibility of the current authorities in
Kyiv for the prevention of any use of force in the south and southeast
of Ukraine. It was pointed out to Deschytsia that constant threats from
Kyiv to storm buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk that have been occupied
by protesters were unacceptable. Lavrov urged the Ukrainian side to
follow a purely peaceful path, a path of dialogue with full account
taken of the lawful demands of the south and southeast of Ukraine,
including direct involvement of representatives of those regions in a
constitutional reform process,” the statement said.
“In response to questions from Deschytsia about prospects for a
quadrilateral Russia-United States-European Union-Ukraine meeting, the
Russian minister said that Moscow and Washington were continuing to
discuss the agenda, format and dates for such an event,” the ministry