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Medvedev Says Russia Russia 'Under No Obligation' to Stay Out of Eastern Ukraine

Published: May 22, 2014 (Issue # 1811)



  • Medvedev refused to make any guarantees about Russias involvement with eastern Ukraine in an interview on Tuesday.
    Photo: Pavel Golovkin / AP

MOSCOW Russia is under no obligation to stay out of eastern Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said, refusing to guarantee that Moscow will respect its neighbors territorial integrity.

Medvedev also accused U.S. President Barack Obama of lacking political tact by imposing sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea, saying the U.S. response was pushing the two countries close to a new Cold War, according to a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg television published on the Cabinet website.

Asked whether he could guarantee that Moscow would not take over the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, where separatists have appealed to join Russia, Medvedev said we do not have to guarantee anything to anybody, because we have never taken up any obligations in that respect.

President Vladimir Putin earlier this spring rejected any obligations that Russia has to Ukraine under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which Russia co-signed to guarantee Ukraines territorial integrity in exchange for its giving up nuclear weapons, saying that Moscow has made no promises to Kievs new administration.

Medvedev added in the interview that the most important task is to calm down the situation in Ukraine not to guarantee something to somebody, but to calm the situation down, according to the Cabinet transcript.

He reiterated Kremlin calls for a dialogue between the Ukrainian government in Kiev and separatists who had voted for self-rule in the east, and declined to say whether Russia would deliver on its latest promise to withdraw troops from Ukraines eastern border, saying that such military matters fell outside the Cabinets jurisdiction.

Its not Russia who should guarantee anything, but the Ukrainian authorities should guarantee to their people that things will be calm in the east, that they will not use heavy weaponry, including tanks and airplanes, helicopters, against their own people, Medvedev said.

Credited with having helped reset the Russian-U.S. relations during his term as Russias president in 2008-2012, Medvedev accused Washington of building up renewed tensions through its sanctions against Russia.

We are slowly but surely moving toward a second Cold War, which nobody needs, Medvedev said.

He also accused Obama of having run out of reserved, precise, delicate, intelligent, intellectual decisions toward Russia that had helped achieve reset a few years earlier.

Medvedev declined to say whether Russia would recognize the results of Ukraines presidential elections set for May 25, saying that a refusal by separatist regions to take part in the balloting could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote.

The situation in Ukraine at this moment does not, unfortunately, permit us to be sure that those elections would be carried out properly, he said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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