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Lavrov Identifies Bucha Provocation as a Pretext for Sabotaging Russia-Ukraine Talks

April 6, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov charged yesterday that the Bucha provocation was intended to sabotage talks between Russia and Ukraine on ending the war. In a statement posted to the Foreign Ministry website, Lavrov said: “The question, then, is what purpose does this blatantly false provocation serve? We are inclined to view it as a pretext to torpedo the ongoing negotiations at a time when some light, however dim, has appeared at the end of the tunnel. At the talks in Istanbul on March 29, 2022, Ukrainian representatives set forth in writing their vision for a treaty on Ukraine’s status and security guarantees for the first time during contacts between our delegations.”

Those points of agreement are among Russia’s central concerns. “For the first time ever, the Ukrainian side has put on paper that it is prepared to declare Ukraine a neutral, non-aligned and non-nuclear state, and to refuse to deploy weapons from foreign states on its territory or to conduct exercises on its territory with the participation of foreign military personnel, unless they are approved by all guarantors of the future treaty, including the Russian Federation,” Lavrov continued.

“The security guarantees envisaged by the treaty are a step toward everyone realizing that the negotiations need to completely rule out NATO’s eastward expansion, primarily to Ukraine, and to ensure indivisible security in Europe. The Ukrainian side itself included in this draft of the main clauses of the treaty a provision saying that the security guarantees that will be provided to Ukraine in the event of an agreement will not apply to Crimea and Donbas. This is also a sign of significant progress in terms of Kyiv making a realistic assessment of the status of these territories....

“We believe that the international community must know the truth, which is that the Russian side is ready to keep negotiating in good faith,”

Lavrov said. He warned that if the Kyiv regime demands additional steps from Russia and refuses to discuss denazification and demilitarization—as it is doing now he said—“I do not think this will be helpful in advancing the negotiating process. We would like to once again urge those who are behind Kyiv’s actions (we know who they are) to take seriously their responsibility for security in Europe, for the future of the world and for ensuring that all the principles of the UN Charter are honored in practice. Russia is ready for this conversation.

“In order for us to make real progress, instead of just the appearance of progress, we insist that Kyiv be sent an unambiguous message not to resort to sabotage. Otherwise, we risk repeating the fate of the Minsk agreements. And that is something we will never do,” he concluded.

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