Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov raged today at the new sanctions the European Union is implementing against the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s recent behavior in the Kerch Strait, where it fired on Ukrainian warships and detained crew members who are awaiting trial.
“We said long ago that we do not discuss sanctions with anyone. We want to improve our economy and trade with normal Western partners so that not to depend on anybody’s whims – in this case the whims of those who did not keep their word and did not make the opposition carry out their agreements with [former Ukrainian] President [Viktor] Yanukovich,” the minister noted, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“We are also dealing with the people who introduced sanctions over the Crimeans’ expression of will and over the events evolving in the region in general, in particular in eastern Ukraine.”
“I see it as another evidence of the Europeans’ inability to make [Ukrainian President Pyotr] Poroshenko implement the Minsk accords. As far as they cannot rule their clients, something has to be done, and they resorted to another package of sanctions…We know that these sanctions are being taken under the US’ powerful pressure, which again proves the European Union’s dependence. It is sad, but we are open for dialogue. However, we will proceed from the fact that we should not depend on people who act so, including with their obligations regarding the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis in February 2014,” wrote TASS.
The incident in the Sea of Azov late last year was initiated when Ukraine pressed to send three warships through the Kerch Strait where passage is controlled by the Russian Federation, who recently built the bridge from Russia to the newly annexed Crimean peninsula.