17:59 17.12.2018

Sheer nonsense - Turchynov on Lavrov's statement on Ukraine's alleged offensive

3 min read
Sheer nonsense - Turchynov on Lavrov's statement on Ukraine's alleged offensive

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has commented on a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the Ukrainian army's alleged preparation for an attack on the Russian Armed Forces.

The "exposure" by the Russian Foreign Minister of an "offensive by the Ukrainian army together with U.S. and British instructors on the Russian Armed Forces, scheduled for the last ten days of December" together with other statements by him, like the "Nazi" and "neo-Nazi regime," etc., can be commented with one phrase – sheer nonsense," Turchynov wrote on Facebook on Monday.

Earlier, Lavrov told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda: "[Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko said he won't extend martial law unless there is some provocation on the contact line in Donbas or at the administrative border with Crimea. We have some information, as our official representative Maria Zakharova has said repeatedly, that the Ukrainian military has concentrated about 19,000 troops and a large amount of hardware at the contact line and that UK and U.S. instructors are assisting it in that."

"Some new information we have received, which we are inclined to trust, indicates that Poroshenko is planning an act of provocation at the border with the Russian Federation for the end of December. He will face a response he won't find funny. Our country is our borders. We won't allow him to try to pursue some interests of his own and violate the rights that the Crimeans defended in full compliance with international law," Lavrov said.

"According to our information, they are discussing provocation at the border with Crimea with their Western overseers," he said.

Later on Monday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman responded, saying Lavrov, "How can I comment on the Russian foreign minister's words? My first reaction to your question is: he invented this himself and then came up and voiced it. [...] The only thing he hasn't done yet is the implementation of his absolutely inadequate plan," Groysman said at a joint news briefing with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini in Brussels.

"I think this is yet another attempt by Russia to vindicate its barbarity and undisguised military aggression," he said.

Groysman suggested Lavrov facilitate the liberation of the Ukrainian sailors detained following the November 25 incident in the Kerch Strait and "the withdrawal of Russia's Armed Forces from Ukrainian territory."

"I think then his contribution to peace and diplomacy would be very significant and would deserve respect around the world," he said.

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