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Seizure, bloodshed could be aims behind Russian embassy attack – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

There are indications that “physical seizure” and bloodshed were the aims of the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev, Russia’s foreign minister told journalists.

“From our diplomats’ point of view, the aim of the attackers was to physically seize the embassy building. There are also grounds to believe that they wanted bloodshed,” Lavrov said.

The leading players in the attack on Russia’s embassy were “fighters from Azov Battalion, created and financed by oligarch Igor Kolomoisky,” who was appointed by Kiev authorities as governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Lavrov said.

Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov believes the attack was thoroughly planned.

“In the conditions in which we (Russia) and Ukraine [have] lived for the last 20 years, of course there was no question that the embassy here should meet the same safety requirements as in Iraq,” Zurabov told NTV channel. “But it looks like now we will have to reconsider our approach.”

According to Russia’s envoy to Kiev, there were two groups of “well equipped” young people between 25 and 30 years old who took no active part in the violence but were “absolutely ready to storm.”

“They had baseball bats, metal rods, axes. Had they entered the territory of the embassy, I think we would not have avoided victims,” he said.

Sergey Lavrov called the aggression “disgusting,” adding that the violence faced by Russian diplomats is “good reason” for “our Western partners” to think about how Kiev’s ruling regime is using “inherited” following the protests at Independence Square (Maidan) this winter.

As for Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa using the offensive language addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was “beyond the bounds of decency,” Lavrov said, calling the protest outside the embassy “bacchanalia.”

“[This is] a good reason for our Western partners, who in every possible way support any steps by Ukraine’s ruling regime, to think about how this regime is using powers inherited after Maidan,” Lavrov said.

Speaking about the international community’s reaction to the embassy attack in Kiev, Lavrov said that Russia is “disappointed” by Western leaders’ position on the violence.

“Western partners assured me and our diplomats that they condemn the attack. However, when we drafted a certain resolution to the UNSC, it was Western partners who refused to support it,” he said.

“They tried to link it with offers to condemn the downing of a plane in the southeast, with some other things that have no connection with the main point; diplomatic representatives’ inviolability cannot have any conditions,” Lavrov said, adding that such an attitude “does not add to the reputation of the schools of diplomacy in European countries and the US.”

Vandals stand on top of the crashed cars during an attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev on June 14, 2014.

Russia calls restricted access to NATO HQ ‘Cold War’ Mentality

NATO decision to limit the access of Russian diplomats to its headquarters in Brussels reflects the persistent “Cold War” mentality among the alliance’s officials, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. NATO said Monday the access to NATO Headquarters will be denied to all representatives of the Russian Mission, except the Russian Ambassador, his Deputy Head of Mission, and two support staff. Other Russian diplomats will have to notify NATO about their planned visit to its headquarters in advance, register upon arrival and be escorted by security staff throughout their visit.

“We noted that information about the move was posted on the main page of NATO’s official website. It looks like access by Russian diplomats to the NATO office is the North Atlantic alliancea’s number one problem,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The introduction of restrictive measures against [Russian diplomats] confirms once again that the alliance is not capable of overcoming the “Cold War” mentality, preferring the language of sanctions over dialogue,” the statement reads.

Ties between Moscow and the West plunged to record lows in recent weeks surrounding disagreements over Crimea, which rejoined Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine last month.

In the ongoing diplomatic strife that followed, NATO froze all practical aspects of its military cooperation with Russia last week. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the Atlantic alliance’s moves as “Cold War-style sword swinging.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said last Thursday it has decided to recall its chief military representative to NATO, Col. Gen. Valery Evnevich, for consultations amid the standoff, RIA Novosti reports.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow was not seeking confrontation with NATO, but was ready to take all political and military measures to ensure its security.

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