Putin: Russia ready to support Ukraine, regardless of govt

Published time: January 28, 2014 15:59
Edited time: January 28, 2014 18:34

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint press conference with the European Council President and EU Commission President after the EU-Russia Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on January 28, 2014.(AFP Photo / John Thys)

Moscow is ready to support not the government of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people, President Putin said, referring to Russia’s loan to its neighboring state and its offer to reduce gas prices.

No matter which government comes to power in Ukraine, Russia will not reconsider its earlier signed agreements, he told a news conference in Brussels.

"Regarding you question whether we will review our agreements on loans and the energy sector if the opposition will take power ... No, we will not," Putin told a news conference after talks with European Union leaders in Brussels.

The loan and the gradual reduction of gas price were to “support the people of Ukraine, not the government”.

“It’s the ordinary people who always suffer,” he added.

The Russian president reiterated Moscow’s position on the situation in Ukraine, saying that the political crisis in the country should be solved without foreign interference.

Putin said that Moscow believes that meddling in Ukraine’s domestic affairs is unacceptable.

The international community, which has been calling on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to act in a civilized way amid the crisis, should urge the opposition to do the same, Putin added.

Ukraine has been gripped by mass anti-government protests that began on November 21, after Yanukovich refused to sign an association agreement with the EU.

January 28, 2014 (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

January 28, 2014 (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

The initially peaceful protests have lately descended into extreme violence, with nationalist groups being at the forefront of brutal clashes with police and seizures of administrative buildings. The pro-EU opposition is particularly supported in western Ukraine.

[Western] media did not show it, but we did see that a priest in western Ukraine called on the crowd to go to Kiev and storm the government. And then he explains: ‘That’s in order not to allow niggers, moskals (an insulting word used by Ukrainians to describe Russians), and Jews to rule,’” Putin told the news conference. Read on at Source

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