Russian lawmakers condemn foreign politicians for interfering in Ukraine's affairs
MOSCOW, January 22 (RAPSI) – Of the 450 State Duma lawmakers, 388 have voted to support a statement on the growing tensions in Ukraine, urging Western politicians to refrain from interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs.
According to the statement, not only the opposition but also foreign politicians who address rallies in Ukraine should be held responsible for developments in Kiev.
“The State Duma is urging the foreign political quarters that are interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign Ukraine, in violation of international law, to stop the activity that is leading to the escalation of the conflict,” the statement reads.
The lawmakers have also called on Ukraine’s opposition to start a constructive dialogue with the authorities and to stop any violence and especially the use of force in their confrontation with the government.
The statement also says that the State Duma supports the decision of the Russian authorities to provide a stabilization loan to Ukraine and to reduce gas prices “without any political conditions, but only so as to support the brotherhood of the Ukrainian people.”
Additionally, the State Duma said it is ready to provide legislative assistance to the development of comprehensive relations with Ukraine.
Ultranationalist groups began attacking police in Kiev on Sunday in protest at a spate of draconian laws severely curtailing the rights to protest that were hastily pushed through parliament by President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
Violence was heavy on both sides, with Molotov cocktails, stun grenades and rubber bullets used indiscriminately.
Police reported more than 100 officers sustaining injuries, while the opposition spoke about 1,000 activists being hurt in the disturbances. Three demonstrators reportedly lost an eye and one is said have had a hand amputated.
Protests have been raging in Ukraine since November, when Yanukovych made an 11th-hour decision to pull out of an association agreement with the EU, opting instead for closer ties with Russia.