Vows not to intervene in the neighbouring crisis, wants other countries to follow suit
Moscow : Moscow pledged on Tuesday it would not intervene in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine but said the country should not be forced to choose between Russia and the West. “We confirmed our principled position of non-intervention in Ukraine’s internal affairs and expect that everyone follows similar logic,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We are interested in Ukraine being part of the European family, in all senses of the word,” he said after talks with Luxembourg counterpart Jean Asselborn.
But he added: “We agree that… it is dangerous and counterproductive to force Ukraine into a choice — either you are with us or against us.”
His remarks signalled an apparent softening of Moscow’s stance after harsh statements both by Lavrov’s own ministry and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev had accused Ukraine’s new leadership of waging an “armed mutiny” and said there was noone for Moscow to communicate with in Kiev.
The turnaround comes after US National security adviser Susan Rice said on Monday that Russian troops’ intervention in Ukraine would be a ‘grave mistake’. Rice argued that a return to a Cold War posture would not reflect modern realities.According to the Washington Post, during a wide-ranging interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Rice said this was not about the US and Russia, but about whether the people of Ukraine. She added that Ukrainians have the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations and be democratic and be part of Europe, which they choose to be.