World / Europe

Russia not to militarily interfere in Ukraine crisis: FM

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-01 15:07

Russia not to militarily interfere in Ukraine crisis: FM

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with students at Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Moscow, Sept 1, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that Moscow will not militarily interfere in the ongoing Ukraine crisis, urging the United States and the European Union (EU) to help stop Kiev from using heavy weapons.

"There will be no military interference ... We advocate only peaceful settlement of the heaviest crisis, the tragedy," Lavrov said in a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

He expressed the hope that the Contact Group for Ukraine, which are meeting in the Belarussian capital of Minsk on Monday, primarily dedicate to "an imminent and unconditional ceasefire."

Meanwhile, he called demands for Ukraine's independence-seeking militia to lay down arms "quite unrealistic."

The minister also accused the EU of exerting strong "sanctions inertia," referring to the bloc's Sunday decision to apply further sanctions on Russia within a week given Moscow "continues to escalate the Ukraine crisis."

Washington and Brussels, Lavrov said, should give up the "absolutely hopeless policy of ultimatums, threats and sanctions" if they want to resume pragmatic cooperation with Russia.

Answering a MGIMO student's question on Russia's possible withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the minister said "quite the opposite."

"We are ready to use WTO mechanisms, for instance, in the defense of our opinion on the impermissibility of the retroactive enforcement of norms of the so-called EU Third Energy Package," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

The Third Energy Package mainly prohibits the gas producer from being the owner of gas pipelines.

Lavrov also said investigators should return to the crash site of the Malaysian passenger plane in Ukraine's Donetsk region.

"Experts can probably understand what weapons were used by the nature of the holes in the fuselage, the wings and the cockpit," he said, adding Russia's attempts to achieve some information "have so far not led to anything."

The Malaysian Flight MH17 was downed on July 17 in Ukraine's separatists-controlled area, killing all 298 people on board. The cause of the tragedy was yet to be determined, but Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for this.

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