Friday, 6th March 2015

Rising anti-Russia sentiment threatens Europe Stability: Moscow

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday warned that European stability was being threatened by rising anti-Russian sentiment over the Ukraine crisis.

"The current inflaming of anti-Russian sentiments takes place against the background of a spike of racism and xenophobia in many European countries, an increase in the number of ultra-radical groups and turning a blind eye to neo-Nazi phenomena, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere," he said.

Russia's top diplomat, quoted by the state RIA Novosti news agency, added that this "carries an obvious threat to European stability."

Lavrov spoke after US President Barack Obama threatened a third round of sanctions against Moscow if it escalates tensions over Ukraine, whose government it does not recognise.

Washington has already imposed targeted sanctions on some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies over Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Russian-speaking peninsula of Crimea last month.

Speaking at a meeting with Russian non-governmental organisations, Lavrov said attempts to "legitimise the Maidan government at any cost" should be stopped in order to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.

A pro-Western popular uprising often called the Maidan after the name of Kiev's central square in February ousted Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych, who has since taken refuge in Russia.

Moscow does not recognise the new authorities in Kiev, accusing them of supporting neo-Nazis and pursuing anti-Russian policies.

Late Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry formally warned Russians against travelling to countries which have an extradition treaty with the United States.

The ministry said that the introduction of US sanctions meant that there was now a higher risk that Russians who face legal claims in the United States could be detained or arrested in other foreign countries.



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