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24.02.2014

Russia claims threat to its interests and life of Russian nationals in Ukraine

   

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, has stated that the recalling of the Russian Federation’s ambassador from Kyiv “means that the situation in Ukraine is unclear to us, there is a risk to our interests, the life and health of Russian nationals”.

Medvedev pointed out that this step – recalling the ambassador for consultations, indicated its serious concern over the situation in Ukraine. Interfax Ukraine reports that Medvedev was answering its questions in Sochi.  He said that he didn’t need to tell the agency what the recalling of an ambassador means in diplomatic practice

The Russian timing is interesting.  There were a number of Russian nationals who took part in the Maidan protests, yet no such measures were taken last week when police snipers gunned down unarmed protesters in the middle of Kyiv.  

There are also very many EU, US, Canadian and other nationals in Ukraine at the present time.  Their governments have seen no such need.

In 2008 Russia used the presence of Russian nationals in South Abkhazia to justify military intervention.  The Russian authorities had previously been granting Abkhazians citizenship with terms and procedure that were significantly easier than for other applicants.  

These noises from Ukraine’s northern neighbour are at best unhelpful, and surely need response from Ukraine’s EU neighbours.

 

Halya Coynash

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