Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov does not recommend anyone to even consider the idea of an armed attack on the Crimea, including for the purpose to return the peninsula to Ukraine.
"I would not advise anyone to do this. We have the doctrine of national security, and it very clearly regulates the actions, which will be taken in this case," RIA Novosti quoted Lavrov as saying at a news conference after a meeting with his Italian counterpart Federica Mogerini.
One of the main requirements of Western countries and Ukraine to Russia is to "return" the Crimea to Ukraine and put pressure on the militias of Donbass. Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko designated the objective to take the Crimea back as one of the main goals of his presidency.
As for militias, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the militia want to be recognized as "full citizens of Ukraine." To resolve the situation in Ukraine, the Kiev authorities must recognize militias as a party in the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"No matter what side of the conflict is in question, the answer is very simple - one should treat all parties to the conflict in a humane fashion, without calling them terrorists. One should recognize that they are fighting on the land that they consider their own, that they want to be full citizens of Ukraine; they want to be respected and heard ... and that they do not want to be forced to obey the authorities in Kiev," Lavrov said.
"That's what one needs from the Ukrainian leadership - to encourage volunteers to constructive dialogue. They are ready for it. But they are not ready to execute ultimatums that say that before this dialogue is possible, they need to surrender to the mercy of winners," said Lavrov.
Meanwhile, Moscow's Basmanny Court ruled to impose a measure of judicial restraint in the form of arrest against Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. The sanction will act in absentia until the official finds himself in sight of Russian law enforcement agencies. A similar action was taken last week against the governor of Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine Igor Kolomoisky. Avakov and Kolomoisky appear as persons named in the criminal case that was filed in Russia into events in the south-east of Ukraine.
Both Avakov and Kolomoisky were put on international wanted list. The latter, in turn, claimed that they were not concerned about the actions of Russian investigative authorities.
The Investigative Committee of Russia accused Kolomoisky and Avakov of organizing mass killings of civilians, as well as of the use of prohibited means of warfare, kidnappings and hindering professional activities of the press.
More than 6,000 people have been interrogated so far, of whom about 3,000 were recognized as victims. Combined with other evidence, the testimony of witnesses and victims confirm the involvement of Avakov, Ukrainian soldiers, armed members of the National Guard of Ukraine and militants of the "Right Sector" movement in those crimes, the ministry said.
The head of the Russian Presidential Administration, Sergei Ivanov, said that Kiev would start stealing natural gas from the transit pipeline, which transports the fuel to Europe.
"By experience we know that when it's autumn and winter, Ukraine will be short of gas," he said at the Russian Language Center of the Beijing University at a meeting with students. According to Ivanov, one needs to prepare to the situation and to "diversify energy supplies," reports Regnum.
Gazprom officials said that Ukraine's gas debt had reached the level of $ 5.3 billion; 11.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas remain unpaid. The head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, said that the amount of the debt was gigantic. He also compared the unpaid amount to the one that Russia supplies to Poland in one year.