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Lavrov: Kiev Wants to Cancel Non-Alignment Status to Сapture East by Force

Sputnik News

17:20 19.11.2014(updated 20:16 19.11.2014)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Kiev government does not try to conceal that it wants to change its non-alignment status to recapture eastern Ukraine by force.

MOSCOW, November 19 (Sputnik) – The Kiev government does not try to conceal that it wants to change its non-alignment status to recapture eastern Ukraine by force, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"Officials in the current Ukrainian government who favor the rejection of non-alignment status mostly do not even try to conceal that they need it to solve the southeastern Ukraine problem by force and then, as they say, fight with Russia as its main enemy," Lavrov said.

"In fact, radical nationalists… who are in power in Kiev intend to destroy every Russian element of the Ukrainian history," the minister said after talks with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto.

Lavrov said that Ukraine's non-alignment status is "vital not only for stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region, but also from the point of view of basic national interests of the Ukrainian state."

In 2010 Viktor Yanukovych signed a law on the fundamental principles of the country's domestic and foreign policy, which envisaged Ukraine holding a non-aligned status and stipulated that the country would not become a member of NATO.

In August, a bill dropping Ukraine's non-aligned status was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced that the country aimed to renew its path to becoming a member of NATO.

On Wednesday, the Russian president's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the BBC that Russia needed hundred-percent guarantees that the West would not consider Ukraine's joining NATO, adding that the lack of such guarantees forces Russia to take precautionary measures.

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Ukrainian crisis was being used by the West to reanimate NATO, adding that Russia in turn would consider measures to ensure its own security.

Since the Ukrainian crisis escalated in February, NATO has been deploying additional forces in the Baltic region. Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the military bloc's creeping expansion in Eastern Europe, specifically in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Lavrov: Kiev's Plans to Suspend Human Rights in East Ukraine Alarming

Ukraine's plans to suspend its human rights obligations in southeastern Ukraine are a serious development that everyone should worry about, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

According to the Russian minister, Ukraine plans to notify the council of Europe about suspending its obligations under the European Convention for Human Eights in the military operation zone in southeastern Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian government wants to reserve the right for not respecting human rights there [in eastern Ukraine]. In my opinion, it's a particularly serious sign that should make everyone alarmed," he said.

The European Convention on Human Rights was adopted in 1950 and came into force in 1953. It serves to protect the rights of people who can have their cases heard by the Strasbourg Court if their rights have been violated.

Ukraine has seen a spike in human rights violations since the conflict in the country's eastern regions escalated dramatically in mid-April when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters.

Russian authorities have released a compilation of human rights violations carried out in Ukraine during the conflict, called the White Book. The book lists cases of deadly violence in southeastern Ukraine that have been taking place in the region since the beginning of the military confrontation. Copies of the White Book have been sent to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

International human rights organizations have also repeatedly pointed to human rights abuses in eastern Ukraine.

On November 12, Human Rights Watch said that cluster munition rockets were fired in Donetsk in October from positions held by Kiev-backed forces. Earlier in September, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said that Kiev was responsible for war crimes and human rights violations committed by Ukrainian volunteer battalions.


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