Russia slams US for double standards over Ukraine

Moscow, March 7: Russia Thursday accused the US of applying double standards to Moscow’s assertions about the developments in Ukraine.

“The (US) State Department is trying to play on a shamelessly one-sided interpretation of events as though there wasn’t abundant evidence of outrages perpetrated by radical nationalists (in Ukraine),” Xinhua quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich as saying in a statement.

Lukashevich was referring to a statement released by US government criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said the US statement “is astonishing, and not so much because of its primitive distortion of reality that derives from its cynicism and undisguised double standards”.

“Of course, Washington can’t admit that it supported the Maidan (Independence Square in Kiev) and encouraged the forcible overthrow of the lawful government, clearing the way for those who are trying to pass themselves off now as the legitimate government in Kiev,” Lukashevich added.

The US, he said, neither had nor could have the right to moralise about compliance with international law and respect for the sovereignty of other countries.

“What about the air raids against the former Yugoslavia or the invasion of Iraq under a false pretext?” he said.

The spokesperson said Washington cannot cope with itself and acknowledge the fact that it can’t “always and everywhere dictate its will”.

“It loses its self-control, but that is no reason to lay its fault at somebody else’s door,” he said.

The situation in Ukraine intensified Thursday as parliament of Crimea, an autonomous republic, voted to join Russia and decided to hold a referendum on the territory’s future status on March 16, two weeks earlier than previous plan.

US President Barack Obama said Thursday that the proposed referendum in Crimea would violate Ukraine’s constitution and the international law, and insisted that any decision on Crimea should include the Ukrainian government.

IANS