Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015

Russia slams threats of 'sanctions and boycotts' over Ukraine

Published on Mar 3, 2014 10:13 PM

GENEVA (AFP) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday harshly criticised threats of "sanctions and boycotts" over his country's role in the spiralling crisis in Ukraine, as Western powers ponder whether to kick Moscow out of the G8.

"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 polarised Ukrainian society," he told the opening of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"I call upon them to show responsibility and to set aside pure political calculations and put the interest of the Ukrainian people above all," he added.

Since Mr Putin won the Russian parliament's blessing Saturday to use force in Ukraine, including in Crimea - a strategic Black Sea peninsula with a majority ethnic Russian population - outraged Western powers have threatened to expel Russia from the Group of Eight leading industrial countries it joined with great fanfare in 1997 as it returned to global respectability after years lost in post-Soviet chaos.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!