Wednesday, November 26, 2014   

Europe closes ranks, while Russia defends right to protect minorities from Ukraine’s radicals
(03-03 20:00)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Ukraine's new leaders of attacking minority rights and said that ultra-nationalists control many areas.
Amid his condemnation, European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels seeking to gather hawkish nations and those favoring dialogue behind a common stand on Russia's threat of military incursion in Ukraine.
“The victors intend to make use of the fruits of their victory to attack human rights and fundamental freedoms... of minorities,'' Lavrov told the opening of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“The radicals continue to control the cities'' and “limit the rights of linguistic minorities.''
“Violence of ultra-nationalists threatens the lives and the regional interests of Russians and the Russian speaking population,'' he said.
“This is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots and ensuring human rights and the right to life.''
The Russian foreign minister also slammed warnings of sanctions and boycotts, as Britain and the US spoke of “consequences and costs'' if the Kremlin did not pull back its troops.
“Those who try to interpret the situation as a type of aggression and threaten sanctions and boycotts, are the same who consistently have encouraged [Ukrainians to] refuse dialogue and have ultimately polarized Ukrainian society,'' he told the opening of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
France's Laurent Fabius said in Brussels: “It is vital that Europeans speak with a single voice.’’
Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, who along with colleagues from ex Soviet satellites is a proponent of tough action against Russia, said he was “not very optimistic'' of a quick fix.
“Some in Russia are still impressed by their military might,'' he said. ''That is not the way to make friends in Europe, in the world.''
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was time for diplomacy.
“Europe is without doubt in the worst crisis since the fall of the [Berlin] wall'' 25 years ago, he said.
“The threat of a division of Europe is real again,'' he added. “Now is the time for diplomacy.''
“Diplomacy does not mean weakness but is more needed than ever to prevent us from being drawn into the abyss of military escalation.''
On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he was violating a 1994 accord in which Moscow committed to respect the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.
But she also suggested, and Putin agreed, to set up a contact group on Ukraine, reflecting Berlin's desire to keep contacts open with Moscow rather than risk an open breach.
“We need to talk to Putin, who has his own good reasons for doing bad things,'' a senior diplomat told AFP. “The situation is extremely dangerous. We need a way out of this 'us' and 'them' Cold War syndrome.''
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders too warned against hawkish talk, siding with Merkel in calling for the door to be left open to dialogue.
   
Other World breaking news:
Report: UK soldier's killers were on spies' radar (11-25 19:18)
Pope urges EU to give migrants 'acceptance and assistance' (11-25 19:07)
Fake Japanese "Beethoven'' faces damage lawsuit (11-25 19:05)
Pope starts whirlwind visit to European institutions (11-25 17:39)
Riot after US jury fails to indict Ferguson policeman (11-25 16:59)
15 trapped in deadly Cairo apartment block collapse (11-25 16:51)
British royal connection lifts Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (11-24 19:03)
Thai editor sentenced to jail for defaming king (11-24 18:56)
US general: troops staying in Baltics through 2015 (11-24 18:55)
Japan man arrested in Indonesia for smuggling meth (11-24 18:34)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.