Europe Should Condemn Ukraine Riots – Russian Foreign Minister

MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti) – European politicians should condemn the seizure of government buildings by demonstrators in Ukraine, Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday.

“Why are there no voices condemning those who seize government buildings, attack the police and adopt racist and anti-Semitic slogans? Why do European leaders actually encourage such actions, when they would quickly move to punish them at home?” Sergei Lavrov said at the annual Munich Security Conference.

“What would be the reaction from the European Union, if members of the Russian government began to openly express support, including personal visits, to rioters in London, Paris or Hamburg?” he added.

In a statement Monday the EU delegation to Ukraine called on the opposition to “dissociate itself clearly from all those who make use of violence in pursuing their aims.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly accused the US and its allies of meddling in Ukrainian affairs, while Western officials have pointed to what they describe as economic pressure from Russia to force Ukraine to move more tightly into its orbit.

Demonstrations in Kiev erupted in November following an announcement that the country would drop pursuit of closer ties with the EU.

A number of government buildings, including the Justice Ministry in Kiev, have been temporarily occupied by demonstrators during the protests, which have since spread across central and western parts of the country.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a bill into law giving amnesty to demonstrators and canceling unpopular anti-protest laws rammed through parliament two weeks ago.

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