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UK Tells Russia: Don’t Intervene In Ukraine

UK Tells Russia: Don’t Intervene In Ukraine.

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

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By 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.”


  1. My comment:
    Political posturing at its best. The Ukraine, unfortunately, has become another proxy war between the EU/US and Russia and their hegemonic desires. No one is naive enough, I hope, to buy into the constant propaganda of either side (although our corporate media is doing its best to push the narrative being manipulated by the West). When push comes to shove, this is about natural gas and control of it. The elite (of both sides) want access and control of these resources to kick the can down the road a bit further before we’ve all taken the red pill and realise that the perpetual growth our financial systems depend upon is dead and buried because we have hit the end of cheap energy.
    For the UK to warn Russia after all the interference from both sides that has gone of for years is rich indeed. The chess game being played, unfortunately, may abandon the pre-game strategy and spin in directions unknown and, most certainly, unwanted by most, especially the Ukranian people.
    The hubris of both sides is alive and well in the belief that they can control the consequences of their actions. They cannot. The world is a complex dynamical system that surprises constantly. My fear is that one of these consequences will be a full-throttle nuclear war because we’re just that stupid.
    As Charleton Heston laments at the end of the original Planet of the Apes: Damn you all to hell, you blew it up.

  2. UK? That would be the maggot Hague who wanted to invade Syria.
    A little man with a huge ego backed up by the UK PM who has no flipping idea about anything and even bigger illusions of grandeur.

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