Monday, March 03, 2014
Swedish PM: Russian Worries "Understandable"
Via The Local: Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt came under fire after he said on Sunday that Russia's involvement in Crimea was "somewhat understandable". Reinfeldt was talking to reporters on Sunday afternoon after an event at the Royal Palace. When asked about the conflict in Ukraine, where Russian soldiers have moved in to Crimea and Ukrainian forces are mobilizing, he said Russia's actions were "understandable". "It's somewhat understandable that Russia is acting on concerns about the Russian minority of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, but not in the way they're doing it. There are of course methods for talking to the Ukrainian government and calm down the situation in that way", he told reporters. It is refreshing that the Swedish government now finally recognizes the atrocities committed against the Russian population in Ukraine. Russia’s decision to allow troops to be sent to Ukraine is meant to deter radicals from using violence in the country and to facilitate reconciliation, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov dismissed the interpretation of the move by Western powers as an act of aggression on the part of Moscow and called on the West to stop using human rights as a pretext for pursuing geopolitical goals. "I reiterate, we are talking about protecting our citizens and compatriots, about protecting the most fundamental human right – the right to live and nothing more", Lavrov said.