Kremlin rejects more economic pressure on Russia over Ukraine

Kremlin rejects more economic pressure on Russia over Ukraine

HomeEuropeRussia Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:14AM

Russia has dismissed as “absolutely destructive” any attempts to pile up economic pressure on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia would continue to stand up to the West’s threat of economic sanctions.

“Russia has never agreed to such threats and moreover, the threats and blackmail have never led and never would lead to the change of Russia’s well-known and logical position,” he said in a statement.
The Russian official underlined the need for the Kiev government to speak directly to the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

“Instead of stepping up the pressure on those who refuse to start a dialogue and to solve the conflict in a peaceful way, we hear they want to resume this economic blackmail against Russia,” Peskov added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also called for “direct dialog” as the only solution to put an end to the Ukrainian conflict.

He also accused Kiev of derailing attempts to peacefully solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“We see attempts to derail the peace process and attempts again and again by the Kiev leadership to solve the problem by using force to suppress the southeast. These attempts lead nowhere,” Lavrov said on Monday.

Russia has been the target of sanctions by the US and EU, which accuse Moscow of supporting pro-Russia forces in east Ukraine.

Russia has categorically denied the allegation.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev started military operation in the regions in April 2014 in a bid to crush the protests.

Violence intensified last May after the two regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

According to the UN, the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has surpassed 5,000, while over 10,000 others have been injured.

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