Lavrov warns against rising anti-Russian sentiments

Moscow, April 11: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday warned that the rising anti-Russian sentiments over the Ukraine crisis are threatening Europe’s stability.

“The current inflaming of anti-Russian sentiments… carries an obvious threat to European stability,” Press TV quoted Lavrov as saying after Washington threatened Moscow with more sanctions.

Lavrov said the crisis in Ukraine can only be defused if attempts to “legitimise the Maidan (Kiev) government at any cost” are stopped.

Tensions have been rising between Moscow and the West over Ukraine in recent weeks with Western governments stepping up pressure on Russia.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened Russia with more sanctions, accusing Moscow of “an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilise” Ukraine.

Pro-Russian demonstrations have been held recently in the eastern and southern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv, where protestors seized government buildings, demanding a referendum on integration into the Russian federation.

Pro-Russian demonstrations gained momentum in Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum March 16.