Any attempt to grant NATO membership to Ukraine would hurt European security – Lavrov

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Ukraine “is as close to civil war as you can get” and a solution must be found that satisfies all regions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Russia has “no intention” of sending its troops anywhere, Lavrov said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television at the Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow. 

While holding Russia accountable for Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25 is “ridiculous,” the vote can’t be legitimate if it’s impeded by fighting, he said.

There’s already a “real war” between government forces and separatist fighters in the country’s east and south, Lavrov said. Any attempt to grant NATO membership to Ukraine would be “an issue for Russia” and its inclusion in the alliance would hurt European security, he said.

Russia will find a replacement to Visa and MasterCard if those payment service providers refuse to cooperate with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

In his interview to for the Bloomberg TV channel Lavrov said that both Visa and MasterCard are concerned about losing the Russian market. All virtual transactions can be reproduced if you know how it works and Russia and other countries have a lot of experts, Lavrov said. Speaking about western sanctions on the whole, Lavrov said that the reason for them is the hope to take revenge, which is always bad and unprofessional.

Moscow believes that the May 11 referendums held in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions should be taken as confirmation of the depth of the crisis in Ukraine. “The referendums recently held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine should be perceived as a clear signal to Kiev indicating a deep crisis of mutual understanding, [a crisis] of Ukraine’s own statehood in the broad sense of the word,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and head of the European Union Delegation to Russia, Vygaudas Usackas.

Grigory Karasin described the EU’s continuing sanctions policy against Russia as an outdated, overused approach that fails to help resolve serious political problems, but only serves to deepen disagreements further and hampers the joint search for a way out of the really critical situation in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The issues of Ukraine’s state system should be discussed prior to the presidential election to be held in the country on May 25, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

 

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