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Russian Ambassador asks why the EU accepts “Nazi” elements in Ukraine

Speaking to the Foreign Affairs committee this afternoon, Maxim Peshkov stressed that troops that have appeared in Crimea in recent weeks are not Russian.

Ambassador Maxim Peshkov
Ambassador Maxim Peshkov
Image: Oireachtas.ie

THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR to Ireland has said there have been attempts to “demonise” his country, placing blame on it for recent events in Ukraine.

Ambassador Maxim Peshkov also questioned why the European Union did not do more to prevent the situation spiralling out of control, and warned of rising far-right sentiment in the country.

Peshkov appeared before the Oireacthas Committee on Foreign Affairs this afternoon to respond to the concerns of TDs and Senators on Ukraine.

He criticised the role “fascist” parties like Svoboda are playing in the new interim government in Ukraine.

“We are surprised by the EU and US position”, he said, where this government, composing of nationalist and neo-nazi elements, is considered legitimate.

We didn’t hear any condemnation of the right-wing action.

He also described the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych and creation of the interim government as unconstitutional.

“Russians are grieving for those who lost their lives in recent events in Ukraine”, he said, telling the committee that Kiev is sometimes referred to as “the mother of all Russian cities”.

image

Ambassador Maxim Peshkov, flanked by officials. (Image Credit: Oireachtas.ie)

On the upcoming independence referendum in Crimea, Peshkov told the committee the move “fully corresponds with international law”, as a similar move by Kosovo was declared to be by the International Court of Justice in 2010.

He also faced questions from Labour TD Eric Byrne on why warning shots were fired on a OSCE mission to Crimea.

The Ambassador noted that as an autonomous region, Crimea does not have to allow observers into the region.

“Complete lie”

The ambassador also said that it was a “complete lie” and “falsification” that the gunmen who appeared in Crimea in recent weeks are Russian troops.

Peshkov stressed that Russia does not intend to send extra troops to the region as long as “nothing extraordinary happens”.

Syria

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan questioned Peshkov on why Russian is choosing to intervene more in Ukraine than in Syria, where the “principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs” had been cited.

“Unfortunately the situation in Syria is much more difficult,” he said, “because there are more sides of the conflict.”

“It is quite fragmented… it is difficult to find a compromise”, Peshkov added, noting that Russian had sent humanitarian aid to the region.

Read: Crimean lawmakers’ vote for independence ‘does not violate international law’ >

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