Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry rejected those demands. In a statement, the ministry said:
“The ultimatum and the didactic tone of these statements demonstrate that as the real aggressor Russia does not accept any control over its own behavior. Under the barrels of its machine guns, this aggressor demands only one thing — the complete capitulation of Ukraine, its dismemberment, and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood. Russia’s proposals for federalization, a second official language, and referendums are viewed in Ukraine as nothing less than proof of Russia’s aggression. We sincerely regret that Minister Sergei Lavrov had to voice them.
“We would like to propose to the Russian side that before issuing ultimatums to a sovereign and independent state, it turn its attention to the disastrous conditions and complete powerlessness of its own national minorities, including the Ukrainian one. Why does not Russia give substance to the federalism which, incidentally, is in its official name and which remains a meaningless, declarative concept?