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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

Tuesday, Sept. 16


Lenexpo plays host to Tekhnodrev, a three-day convention that focuses on the woodworking industry in Russia. Promoting the latest technologies and trends, the event features not only exhibitors from some of Russias largest woodworking companies but representatives of the forestry industry, who will have their own coinciding forum.


Parlez-vous français? We dont here at The St. Petersburg Times but that doesnt mean you cant. Join the British Book Centers French Club meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in their location near Technologichesky Institut metro station.



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