Lavrov Calls American Policy ‘Stupid’

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the American sanction policy against Moscow, and indicated that even in the United States, there has been an admission of its failure.

“This policy is drawing more and more criticism in the United States. Even a pro-Washington NGO like the Atlantic Council has published material criticizing the United States’ dead-end policy toward Russia, which yields no results in terms of the goals that were announced when these sanctions were imposed,” he said at a press conference.

The Russian diplomat highlighted the fact that the U.S. and its allies are “unreliable partners,” and that Moscow can’t always depend on how they are feeling. “We must rely on ourselves, because neither the United States nor its allies are reliable partners. And in key areas that are crucial for the life of the state we cannot rely on their mood or on whether they wake up on the wrong side of the bed,” said Lavrov, quoted in Russia Today.

At the same time, Lavrov asserted that Russia would respond to any hostile behavior from the U.S. “We will respond to any unfriendly steps, that goes without saying. I haven’t seen any specific decisions so far, nothing has been announced,” said the Russian minister, commenting on information reported by Bloomberg on the possible introduction of new restrictions against Russian diplomats and citizens.

The Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the internal crisis in Ukraine during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As detailed in a report, both leaders expressed concern over the escalation of tension in the southeastern part of the country. For his part, Putin “spoke about Kiev’s provocative actions, recently deliberately aggravating the situation on the contact line” between Ukrainian troops and the militias of the as of yet unrecognized People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Russian president emphasized the need for Kyiv to implement the agreements from the signed deal, “primarily on establishing direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk and the legalization of the special status of Donbass.”

New Escalations

Recently, the most extreme violations in the region, as noted last July by the contact group responsible for the conflict’s resolution in Eastern Ukraine, became systematic. According to a representative from the militia of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Ukrainian security forces violated the Minsk II deal on 24 occasions. Known as a set of ceasefire control measures, the Minsk II deal was signed at a summit held in Minsk in February 2015, which was attended by the Normandy Quartet, consisting of leaders from Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia. The document was signed by the contact group to commit to seeking a peaceful solution to the situation in Eastern Ukraine, brought together by representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recognizes the recent escalation of the conflict, and in its April 3 report, indicated that the number of ceasefire violations in the neighboring People’s Republic of Lugansk had multiplied tenfold.

Lavrov Criticized Western Reaction to Ukrainian Troops Transferring Donbass Region Contact Line

In this situation, Lavrov complained Tuesday that the Ukrainian government is still relying on the West for support, despite the fact that “obvious violations of all the Minsk agreements by Kyiv are obvious. Now Kyiv has moved from criticizing the political framework for resolving the crisis in Donbass to threats of military action,” Lavrov indicated, affirming that the West has abandoned the necessary premise of supporting Ukrainian authorities, including its “absolutely unacceptable actions and statements.”

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