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Moscow Demands that West Not Collaborate with Svoboda Neo-Nazis

March 19, 2014 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued several statements related to Ukraine in the past 48 hours. Mostly ignored by the international media, they reflect the current emphasis within Russian diplomatic efforts to cool out the situation there.

Yesterday, March 18, the Foreign Ministry once again addressed the role of right-wing extremists in Ukraine, this time focussing on "the participation of representatives of ultra-nationalist forces, in the executive branch agencies that have laid claim to power in Ukraine." It noted that members or allies of the Svoboda (formerly "Social-Nationalist") Party are currently deputy prime minister and defense minister of Ukraine. The program of Svoboda, it points out, "provides for an array of anti-democratic measures, including the reinstatement of an ’ethnicity’ line on i.d. documents, stripping the citizenship of people who are dual citizens, criminal sanctions for ’anti-Ukrainian’ acts, and ’harsh restrictions on the public use of any languages other than Ukrainian’." Svoboda states that Ukraine should continue the principles of the state proclaimed (by Stepan Bandera and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) on June 30, 1941, which "expressed its desire to fight for a ’new order’ in Europe and the world, side by side with Hitler’s Germany." Svoboda also wants Ukraine to become a nuclear power. The Russian Foreign Ministry also points out that the European Parliament in December 2012 characterized Svoboda as "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic," and urged democratic forces to avoid cooperation with them. "None of this, however, has deterred high-ranking representatives of the U.S.A. and the EU from contact with Svoboda, including its lead O. Tyahnybok." It notes opposition to such collaboration, coming from "sober voices" among Western politicians and analysts.

Today the Russian Foreign Ministry rebuked Western powers for throwing the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in Russia’s face. "One would like to ask how the calls from the EU and the U.S.A. for sanctions against the Ukrainian leaderhip, during the unrest in Kiev, fit with the Budapest Memorandum guarantees" of Ukraine’s sovereign rights. It accuses the U.S.A. and the EU of "actively abetting a coup d’etat in Kiev, acting in violation of Ukraine’s political independence and sovereignty and of the Budapest Memorandum."

Also today, the Russian Foreign Ministry disputed the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s claim that the Crimean referendum was illegitimate because only "indigenous" peoples have the right to conduct referenda, and Russians are allegedly not "indigenous" anywhere in the administrative borders of Ukraine, inherited from the Soviet period.