This article comes from StratRisks.com
A senior Kremlin aide accused the United States on Thursday of arming Ukrainian “rebels” and, urging the Kiev government to put down what he called an attempted coup, warned Russia could intervene to maintain the security of its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin with responsibility for relations with Ukraine, told a newspaper that U.S. “interference” breached the 1994 treaty under which Washington and Moscow jointly guaranteed Ukraine’s security and sovereignty after Kiev gave up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.
His characteristically confrontational comments, on the eve of an expected meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich at the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics, could add to tensions with Washington, and within Ukraine.
Asked by Kommersant-Ukraine daily whether Russia might “actively intervene” if the country’s crisis deepened, Glazyev recalled the Budapest Memorandum of 1994: “Under the document, Russia and the USA are guarantors of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and … are obliged to intervene when conflict situations of this nature arise.
“And what the Americans are getting up to now, unilaterally and crudely interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, is a clear breach of that treaty. The agreement is for collective guarantees and collective action.”
He did not specify what action Russia might take.
Washington, which has urged Yanukovich to share power with a unity government to end a violent standoff in the streets, has accused Russia of pressuring the leadership in Kiev to prevent Ukraine joining a trade pact with the European Union.
Yanukovich sparked the protests in November when he turned down the EU accord and took financial aid instead from Moscow.
“The United States is committed to working with both the Ukrainian government and the opposition to help de-escalate this crisis,” White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson said when asked about Glazyev’s comments.
“We condemn the use of violence by any party in Ukraine. Russian officials should be doing the same,” she said. “Russia should not view the desires of the Ukrainian people for greater democracy and a closer relationship with Europe as a zero-sum game.”
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