Russia Seeks US Explanation for CIA Director’s Visit to Ukraine – Lavrov

MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has not yet given a sufficient response to reports of a recent visit by CIA Director John Brennan to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

“We would like, in particular, to understand the meaning of these reports about CIA Director Brennan’s recent visit to Kiev,” Lavrov told journalists at a press conference.

“So far we haven’t received any intelligible explanations,” he said.

Media reports emerged Sunday that the CIA director made a secret trip to Ukraine’s capital Kiev under an assumed name, met with senior law enforcement officials and personally proposed a special operation against protesters supporting federalization in the town of Slaviansk.

Ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, who insists he remains the country’s legitimate president, said late Sunday that Ukrainian special forces launched the operation after meeting with Brennan.

The CIA rejected the reports Monday, saying “the claim that Director Brennan encouraged Ukrainian authorities to conduct tactical operations inside Ukraine is completely false.”

CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz declined to comment on Brennan’s recent travel itinerary.

Ukrainian security forces launched the operation to quash unrest in Slaviansk in the country’s eastern Donetsk Region against demonstrators who had seized local government buildings. At least one person was killed and nine injured in the clashes, according to local health officials. Activists said at least three people died.

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