Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today responded angrily to the deaths of three local activists manning a checkpoint near Slavyansk, in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine yesterday, denouncing both the Obama administration and its puppet regime in Kiev for ripping up the April 17 Geneva agreement almost before the ink was dry. “Steps are being taken—above all by those who seized power in Kiev—not only that do not fulfill, but that crudely violate the Geneva agreement,” today’s London Guardian reported Lavrov saying. “The authorities are doing nothing, not even lifting a finger, to address the causes behind this deep internal crisis in Ukraine,” he continued. “Before giving us ultimatums, demanding that we fulfill demands within two or three days with the threat of sanctions, we would urgently call on our American partners to fully accept responsibility for those who they brought to power.” Lavrov went on to warn that attempts to isolate Russia with sanctions would fail: Russia is “a big, independent power that knows what it wants.”
Meanwhile, the anti-coup groups’ “people’s mayor” of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, called on Russia to send “peacekeeping forces” to eastern Ukraine to stop the killing, according to accounts in both the Guardian and RIA Novosti. The Guardian article, which begins by saying the Geneva agreement “was all but shredded” by the Slavyansk incident, reports that Ponomaryov “said Russian troops were urgently needed to protect the civilian population.” The RIA Novosti account quotes Ponomaryov saying “They are killing our brothers. . . Today the city is under the siege form the Right Sector,” and adds that Ponomaryov said that “only Russia can protect the citizens, adding that he has asked Putin to send peacekeepers to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Moscow has not yet commented on the request,” RIA Novosti notes dryly. But their wire then proceeds to quote from Putin’s four-hour April 17 press conference, where he reminded people that the Federation Council had granted him authority to deploy Russian troops to Ukraine, and that “I hope that I won’t have to use this right.”
On that same subject, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov stated in an April 19 TV interview that Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine, but that “no country can be indifferent to various manifestations of war right next to its borders,” so “the necessary measures will be taken.” Peskov elaborated, “Yet another step by NATO towards Russia’s borders, and thus the approach of NATO right up to Russia’s borders would mean carving up the entire European security architecture. And if that organization approaches our borders, then naturally Russia will be forced to take measures for its own security.”
The Obama administration remains wedded to the British Empire’s provocative policy of the eastward expansion of NATO, including the possibility of providing direct military aide to the neo-Nazi government they placed in power in Kiev. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev today for two days of discussions with authorities there, including illegitimate Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who has already demanded top-to-bottom assistance from Obama: “We need financial and economic support. We need to overhaul the Ukrainian military. We need to modernize our security and military forces. We need real support,” Yats told an American TV audience.
Obama can certainly count on support for his war drive from Republican neanderthals like Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who told NBC yesteray: “Unless they (Russia) immediately begin moving the 40,000 troops on the border, which are intimidating people in Ukraine… I really do believe we should be sanctioning some of the (Russian companies in the energy sector — Gazprom and others. I think we should hit some of the large banks there. And certainly we should beef up our security relationships with Ukraine.”