Russia lashes Ukraine's Zelensky for inciting interethnic strife

Russian FM reminds Ukraine's Zelensky of criminal responsibility for his anti-Russian remarks

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said that the recent statements that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky made in relation to Ukraine's Russian-speaking population were inadmissible as they incited ethnic strife. 

“Let me remind you that in early August, Taras Kremin, president's aide for the protection of the state language, suggested all residents of Ukraine who did not speak the Ukrainian language should leave the country. Vladimir Zelenskyy, in an interview published on August 5, advised Russians should "leave and look for a place in Russia." We regard such statements as rhetoric that incites interethnic strife. In EU countries, such statements entail criminal liability, by the way,” Lavrov said in an interview with Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also responded to Zelensky's remarks. She stated that such judgments drew "red lines" between national politics and nationalism.

In his recent public statement, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged residents of the unrecognised republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, who consider themselves Russian nationals, to leave for Russia and warned that there would be no civilization in those lands otherwise.

Zelensky speaks at Crimean Platform summit

On August 23, Zelenskyy spoke at the opening of the Crimean Platform summit.

He declared his readiness to make every effort to "return" Crimea and expressed a hope that working with international partners at the summit would "force Russia to sit down at the negotiating table." Zelensky also announced the adoption of the international declaration on Crimea, which "will create a solid political foundation" for work in this direction.

“Today, on 23 August, we begin the countdown to the liberation of our peninsula. The occupation began in Moscow and it will end in Kiev,” Zelensky said.

All states of the European Union and NATO, as well as the countries of the Group of Seven (G7), the Lublin Triangle (Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland), the Associated Trio (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova) and the countries of the Normandy format (excluding Russia) take part in the Crimean Platform summit.

The summit was initiated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. In his opinion, the summit will make it possible to coordinate efforts of the international community to return Crimea to the jurisdiction of Ukraine.