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Moscow strongly condemns outside attempts to change regimes in sovereign states -- Lavrov

Moscow strongly condemns the attempts to change the regime in sovereign states from the outside, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Rafael Ramirez on Wednesday

"We strongly condemn the attempts to change the regime in sovereign states by organizing some actions from the outside, either in Cuba, Venezuela or in Russia -- or in any European country," Lavrov said. "The attempts to interfere in internal affairs, use some instruments for stirring up the situation are illegal, they contradict the states' commitments under international law," the minister added.

Russia and Venezuela are convinced that violations of a ceasefire deal in south-east Ukraine should be stopped as quickly as possible, Lavrov noted.

Both countries "are convinced that breaches of the ceasefire agreement in Ukraine should be stopped as soon as possible," the Russian minister said. "An inclusive political dialogue should be started," he added. Shootouts in Ukraine have become less intense, the ceasefire process is positive and needs to be supported, Lavrov said.

No logical links between sanctions and situation in Ukraine

Lavrov said he did not see any logical link between imposing sanctions against Russia and normalizing the situation in Ukraine. "I don't see a logical link here. We help implement the Minsk agreements not for the sanctions to be lifted. This is the problem of those who imposed them," Lavrov said.

"We are doing our best to help normalize the situation in Ukraine as soon as possible. This meets our national interests," he said. "The sanctions are illegitimate. The West uses this instrument in order to vent anger. This is not our policy," Lavrov said.

Russia will be prepared to restore cooperation channels with the West when Western partners develop similar understanding, the Russian foreign minister said.

Using slogans on fighting terrorism

Moscow believes it is utterly impermissible to use the slogans of fighting terrorism in order to replace regimes, Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"We have already explained our attitude to the announced coalition's struggle against the ISIS (Islamic State)," Lavrov said, when asked about Turkey's proposal for a ground operation against IS in the north of Syria. "We believe that any actions being taken in the struggle against the Islamic State, just as any other terrorist organization, must rely on the firm groundwork of international law. And, first and foremost, they must be carried out with the consent of the legal authorities of the countries where such a terrorist threat exists."

"It is necessary to fight against this threat exclusively with the consent of the country involved," Lavrov said. "And, of course it is impermissible to use the slogans of anti-terrorist struggle for attempts to replace the existing regimes," Lavrov pointed out. "I do hope that nobody interprets the issue this way."

"Over the years we have kept calling for presenting a common front against international terrorism," Lavrov said, adding that certain steps had been taken along these lines. At the same time, "there have been double standards," he said. As an example, he mentioned repeated refusal to condemn specific manifestations of terrorism in Syria on the excuse Bashar Assad was reluctant to step down.

"Now that the IS has revealed its real worth by committing disgusting acts, our Western partners have realized that it is wrong to sacrifice the world community to attempts to overthrow this or that regime. This is a positive signal," Lavrov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Oct14]

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