Archive for Ukraine
British Embassy in Kyiv (Ukraine) is temporarily closed to visitors, the embassy reported on its Web site. The announcement followed a similar move by the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv amid the continued political unrest there.
Canada has closed its embassy in Kiev and is threatening to bring in sanctions against Ukraine, after a crackdown by authorities on long-running protests left more than two dozen people dead. A voice message at the Canadian embassy and its website both indicate the closing, but don’t say when it took place. “The Embassy of Canada in Kiev is closed until further notice for security reasons,” according to a recorded message on the embassy’s phone lines. The message said embassy staff continue to provide consular services, and asks Canadians in the country to contact the department if in need of help. The decision to close the embassy comes after authorities on Tuesday stormed a camp of activists, triggering fiery clashes that killed at least 26 people. Adam Hodge, a spokesman for Foreign Minister John Baird, said “all Canadian personnel are safe and accounted for.”
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada will be providing further assistance to make medical care available for Ukrainian activists. In a release condemning the violence that left at least 18 dead in street battles in Kyiv on Tuesday, Baird said a contribution will be made to a Ukrainian non-governmental organization. A handful of anti-government protesters have taken shelter inside the Canadian embassy in Ukraine’s capital after riot police barged into a large opposition camp with stun grenades and water cannon. Fewer than a dozen protesters sought refuge Tuesday in the reception area of the embassy in Kyiv to escape the violent crackdown. Baird’s office says they are peaceful and have not caused any damage or harm to staff. Canadian embassy workers are safe and accounted for, spokesman Adam Hodge said. “We hope that the situation improves quickly so that they can safely leave the embassy premises at the earliest possible opportunity,” Hodge said in an email.
The US Embassy in Ukraine has warned its citizens about the dangers of staying in Kiev and other cities of the country because of the dangerous and unpredictable situation. “US Department of State informs US citizens of the growing risks of staying in Ukraine due to the ongoing political unrest and violent clashes between the police and the demonstrators,” warns American embassy. Embassy also advised US citizens in Ukraine not to go out . ” The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and can change quickly,” the warning says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed bewilderment over the summoning of Minister Counselor Andrei Vorobyov from the Russian Embassy to Ukraine to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry which warned him about the unacceptability of his statements made at a roundtable on the problem of Ukraine’s federalization. “Such complaints can cause nothing but bewilderment,” Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information and Press Mariya Zakharova told reporters. “We are also stunned by the fact that such a demarche is being undertaken by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry against the background of almost daily peremptory claims, recommendations, demands and direct instructions on what to do and how to live in Ukraine, sounded by high-ranking representatives from various Western countries and European organizations,” the Russian official said. “All these actions somehow remain without any comment in Kyiv. The question arises: why?” she said. Ukraine is informally evolving as a federation, with alternative authorities being set up in a number of its regions, Russia’s Minister Counselor Vorobyov said earlier.
Washington has accused Russia of being behind the leak of an intercepted telephone call between top US diplomats discussing the unfolding political crisis in Ukraine and using foul language to disparage the EU. In the recording, figures identified as US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discuss political developments inside the former Soviet nation and coordinate on contact with opposition figures. In a passage that has already caused embarrassment to Washington, Nuland can at one stage be heard to dismiss European partners with the phrase “f—k the EU.” A post on Twitter by an aide to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin about the recording shortly after it surfaced online has prompted accusations from Washington that Moscow was directly implicated in the interception and subsequent leak. “This is a new low in Russian tradecraft in terms of publicizing, posting,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday. “This is something they’ve been actively promoting, posting on, tweeting about, and certainly we feel that represents a new low.” Psaki said Nuland has been in contact with EU counterparts and apologized for her embarrassing remarks. Rogozin’s aide, Dmitry Loskutov, has dismissed suggestions he was directly involved in a leak. “I was just monitoring the Internet, while my boss was meeting with the Chinese leader,” he said. Loskutov said his tweet was not an official statement.
A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, has exposed the anti-democratic character of the Obama administration’s intervention in the former Soviet republic. The discussion between the two officials includes a detailed review of which right-wing opposition figures Washington is working to install in office, and how it is using the United Nations to rubber-stamp the operation. While Germany and other European powers have worked closely with the Obama administration in promoting the violent protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, the leaked phone call reveals tensions between the imperialist powers. At one point Nuland tells Pyatt, “F–k the EU.” The discussion, posted anonymously on YouTube, underscores the thoroughly cynical character of Washington’s public diplomacy. The Obama administration’s rhetoric about “democracy” and the Ukrainian people’s right to determine their own future is a charade, concocted for public consumption. Behind the scenes, government officials speak frankly with one another about the real agenda—advancing Washington’s geo-strategic and economic interests in Eastern Europe by installing pro-US and anti-Russian puppet figures in the Ukrainian capital.
A car belonging to a staff member of the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine was set ablaze Friday in what appeared to be retribution for her attendance at anti-government rallies in Kiev. “An arson attack on the car of locally engaged staff was reported to police and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MFA undertook to ensure a full investigation,” said Rick Roth, director of communications for Foreign Minister John Baird. The attack came six days after Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would deny visas to unnamed top Ukrainian officials in response to escalating violence against protesters. A photo widely shared on Twitter showed a woman, identified as Inna Tsarkova – a political and economic affairs officer at the Canadian Embassy in Kiev – pulling at the door of a red, four-door hatchback while a small fire blazed inside the car. The Kiev-born Ms. Tsarkova had made no secret of her political beliefs. The 49-year-old Ms. Tsarkova is also a member of Automaidan, a group of motorists that organized mobile protests around Kiev. According to media reports, she was convicted in December of participating in a car rally outside a residence belonging to Mr. Yanukovych, and had her driver’s license revoked for six months. She did not respond to questions about the case on Saturday, but is believed to be appealing. “Like all Ukrainian citizens, local Embassy staff have a right to engage in legal expression of their views,” Mr. Roth said in an e-mail.
France will summon Ukraine’s ambassador in Paris over recent violence in Kiev, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday. “I have given instructions to the foreign ministry to summon the Ukrainian ambassador in France today which is a gesture to show France’s condemnation (of the situation),” Fabius said.
A huge crowd of demonstrators has surrounded the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, protesting against Washington’s meddling in the country’s internal affairs. The event was organized by Kievans for Clean City, a new pro-government activist group which has spoken out against the rioters and violence in downtown Kiev. Several thousand demonstrators are taking part, urging the US to “stop sponsoring” mass unrests, local media reported. “The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now. The financing is coming from over there. This has to be stopped. That is what we came out here to say to the whole world: ‘US – stop! US – there needs to be peace in Ukraine,’” said Ivan Protsenko, one of the movement’s leaders. Rioters on Grushevskogo Street continue to burn tires, with building No. 4 catching fire from the high flames, Unian news agency quoted the Ministry of Internal Affairs as saying. Police have been holding their line throughout the evening, attempting to extinguish fires with water cannons. After four days of protests, the center of the Ukrainian capital continues to resemble a warzone, with smoke, barricades, and debris all around.