Sunday, February 23, 2014

UK Tells Russia: Don't Intervene In Ukraine

UK Tells Russia: Don't Intervene In Ukraine

UK Tells Russia: Don't Intervene In Ukraine

02/23/2014 6:09 am EST Updated: 02/23/2014 9:59 am EST

Andrew Osborn

LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Britain warned Russia on Sunday against intervening
in Ukraine's "complex" crisis, saying London wanted to contribute to
an international economic programme aimed at shoring up the "desperately
difficult" situation of the Ukrainian economy.

In comments that may anger Moscow, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said
his government was in regular contact with the Russian government to try to
persuade it that closer ties between Ukraine and the European Union should not
worry it.

"If there's an economic package, it will be important that Russia doesn't
do anything to undermine that economic package and is working in cooperation
and support of it," Hague told BBC TV.

When asked if he was worried that Russia might "send in the tanks" to
defend the interests of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine, Hague warned
against what he called "external duress" or Russian intervention.

"It would really not be in the interests of Russia to do any such thing.
We have to keep up the communication with Russia as we are doing ... so that
the people of Ukraine can choose their own way forward. There are many dangers
and uncertainties."

Ukraine's parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday
after three months of street protests, while his arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko
hailed opposition demonstrators as "heroes" in an emotional speech in
Kiev after she was released from jail.

The crisis began as protests against Yanukovich's decision to abandon a trade
agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia, which
promised to lend Ukraine $15 billion euros. Ukraine needs the money -- foreign
investment inflows fell by almost half last year, to a net $2.86 billion from
$4.13 billion in 2012 

Britain has so far assumed a lower profile on Ukraine than countries such as
Germany and Poland, though Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Russian
President Vladimir Putin last Thursday about the situation there and Hague said
he'd be talking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Hague said the priority was to persuade Moscow that the fate of Ukraine - a
country that was part of the Soviet Union and has been within Russia's sphere
of influence for decades - was not what he called "a zero-sum game"
and that closer ties with the EU were not a bad thing.

"It's in the interests of the people of Ukraine to be able to trade more
freely with the EU. It's the interests of the people of Russia for that to
happen as well."

He said he didn't know what Russia's "next reaction" would be, but he
pushed the Ukrainian opposition to move urgently to form a government of
national unity, agree arrangements for new elections, and to crack on with
shoring up the economy.

"While all this has been happening, the Ukrainian economy is in a
desperately difficult situation," Hague said. "And they need an
economic programme that the rest of us, through the International Monetary Fund
and other institutions, can support so that they can stave of an even more
serious economic situation."

Intelligentsia thanked the West and the EU countries for coming forward to help
Ukraine and said the thief is not interested in listening to the religious sermons.

The military strategists,
defense and political analysts are highly apprehensive of Russian PUTIN’s
future intents as such all quarters to remain alert to be able to take on any
impromptu development with regard to Russia’s activities.

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