Ukraine tells Russia to stop 'preaching'

AFP , Sunday 30 Mar 2014

Ukraine's new Western-backed government escalated its standoff with Russia on Sunday by telling Moscow to stop "preaching" to its western neighbour and start focusing on its own problems.

The comments from Kiev came shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that the only way to resolve the current East-West standoff over the ex-Soviet nation was by turning Ukraine into a federation in which its Russified regions would have broader rights.

"We would like to urge Russia, before it presses its ultimatums on a sovereign and independent nation, to take note of the catastrophic state and complete powerlessness of its own ethnic minorities, including Ukrainians," the Ukrainian foreign ministry said in statement.

"Why not make other languages besides Russian into a state language -- including Ukrainian, the language of millions of Russian citizens?"

The Ukrainian statement concluded by declaring: "Stop preaching to others. And instead, start putting things right in your own country. After all, you have so many problems."

Moscow's proposed plan for the current crisis requires Ukraine to hold a constitutional referendum that would allow heavily Russified southeastern regions to declare Russian as a second state language and assume more independence from Kiev. 

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