Putin says West using Ukraine to destabilize region
Iran Press TV
Tue Jul 1, 2014 4:0PM GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of hatching a plot to destabilize the whole region through its intervention in Ukraine.
Putin made the remarks over Russia's foreign policy during a meeting with the diplomatic service, including Russian ambassadors, at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Tuesday.
"Events provoked by the West in Ukraine are a concentrated manifestation of a containment policy against Russia," Putin warned, dubbing Western sanctions regarding Russia a "policy instrument."
The Russian president highlighted underlying ethnic and social contradictions in troubled countries, which he said can pave the way for illegitimate regime change.
Putin added that Moscow will do whatever it can to defend ethnic Russians abroad, "including using political, economic, and humanitarian means."
He also defended Russia's reintegration request from the Crimean Peninsula.
The Kremlin was not in a position to leave Crimeans alone with "ultra-nationalists and radicals," Putin noted.
The Russian president further blamed Ukrainian authorities for failing to extend a ceasefire in the country's east.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko "took upon himself the responsibility for unleashing battle actions in Ukraine" and is now liable for the war and deaths in the ongoing crisis, Putin said.
Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia activists and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the pro-Russia protests.
Violence intensified in May after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
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