Medvedev Warns Ukraine of Possible State Collapse

MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – The ongoing “rule of radicals, militants and bandits” may result in the collapse of the Ukrainian state, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote in his Facebook page on Friday.

The Russian premier wrote in his Facebook blog that the new authorities in Kiev “lack due legitimacy and, worse, are practically unable to leverage situation in the country.”

“The power in the hands of various radicals, militants and bandits. They have the final say, and, most likely, they will continue having it after the May 25 [elections]. There’s no reason for them to share power with others. A government of this kind inevitably results in a collapse of a state,” he wrote.

Although Medvedev criticized Viktor Yanukovych for “political powerlessness, weak personality and inaction” that led to the overthrow of his government, he said that the fugitive president remains the only legitimate head of state.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine plunged to unprecedented lows after the ouster of pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s decision to reunify with Crimea.

Leaders in the predominantly Russian-ethnic republic refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month, instead seeking reunification with Russia.

“The peoples of Crimea (Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars) have expressed their stance in a popular vote. The referendum and the decisions made are now history. We should think of what to do next,” Medvedev wrote.

The clash over Crimea became the greatest geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

The US and EU announced asset freezes and travel bans targeting a number of Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin on Monday, following Crimea’s referendum and reunification.

Medvedev said the West should make efforts to build fair and balanced relations with Russia rather than make futile attempts to punish it.

Commenting on the current standoff between Russia and the West, Medvedev compared it with the 2008 crisis over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

He said tough decisions had to be made at the time but the future developments clearly showed that “it was the only way out.”

“I hope that the reason will prevail again. Russia will never succumb to punishment. But relations with Russia could be built in a correct way,” Medvedev wrote.


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