While the EU continues to discuss possible sanctions against Ukraine and measures that could be used to put pressure on Ukrainian officials, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered a speech for the European Union and the United States, presenting a whole bouquet of accusations to the West.
"Our Western partners - in Europe and the U.S. - blame the authorities of the country for everything. They do not qualify the actions of extremists the way they should be qualified. This concerns Russia a lot," Lavrov said at a news conference in Baghdad. "What we have here is double standards, and instead they threaten with sanctions, and not only threaten - the Americans have already imposed them, having thereby created an additional incentive for the opposition to stand firm," Russian Foreign Minister said.
Requirements to hold early elections in Ukraine are made to push Kiev towards Europe, Lavrov said. " You've probably heard many times - from Western capitals, there were requirements made to give freedom of choice to the Ukrainian people, and it was immediately added - the choice in favor of the European Union," he said.
"The goal to impose this choice on the Ukrainian administration is evident in those initiatives that they put forward now: the requirements to hold early parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible, form the coalition government - that is they try to decide everything for Ukraine in advance," the minister said.
Moscow was especially surprised about recent statements from Washington about the situation in Ukraine, in particular, about the statements from U.S. officials, who said that "they supposedly do not understand the position of Russia, or they do not know what Russia says to Ukrainian representatives," Lavrov added.
Russia's position on Ukraine is absolutely clear, and Moscow speaks about it publicly, Lavrov said. "Our position is that all foreign players, as well as the Ukrainian opposition, must decisively and urgently dissociate themselves from extremists, other radicals, anti-Semites, and clearly back up their words with concrete actions," the minister stated.
French President Emmanuel Macron does not exclude sending NATO troops to Ukraine for security in Europe and for Russia's defeat in the conflict. There is currently no consensus on the need to send NATO troops to the country