The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo/Shawn Thew)
Russian senators are going to ask President Vladimir Putin to consider recalling Moscow’s Ambassador to the US following President Barack Obama’s “aggressive” comments on the situation in Ukraine, the speaker of the chamber said.
The upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, has ordered the committee on international affairs to apply to Putin and ask him to recall Moscow’s ambassador to the US, council speaker Valentina Matvienko said.
“The president will consider the appeal and make a decision,” she said.
The initiative was put forward by the Federation Council’s vice speaker, Yury Vorobiev, who referred to the President Barack Obama’s speech Friday, in which he said that Russia would have to pay for its policies in Ukraine. In Vorobiev’s opinion, Obama “crossed the red line and insulted the Russian people” and his words were a “direct threat.”
Senator Vyacheslav Shtyrov welcomed the idea, saying that Ukrainian events are the result of work which was carried out “with the participation of foreign states” and the US played an important role in it. He noted that some American officials openly admit that they “invested a lot of money to create such a situation.”
So far, no decisions have been made on the matter, said the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. The proposal made by the senators is their opinion, Peskov pointed out.
“Valentina Matvienko made a good point saying that the Federation Council expressed its opinion and made an appeal to the president. But it is up to the head of state to make a decision on the issue,” Peskov said.
According to the head of the State Duma committee for CIS and compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, the Russian ambassador may be recalled to Moscow for consultations.
“In the current situation we are not talking about breaking or suspending diplomatic relations. The Ambassador might be temporarily recalled for consultations, while the format is something for the Russian President and the Foreign Ministry to decide on,” Slutsky told Rossiya 24 TV channel.
“This should be a balanced decision that would demonstrate to the USA that Russia does understand that events in Ukraine are of a nature of a …geopolitical battle, we understand where the authors of these actions are, we are aware of that,” the MP said.
On Friday, Obama warned Russia against Ukraine intervention.
“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” he said.
In his address from the White House, Obama expressed his nation’s “concerns” about “reports” of “military movements” inside Ukraine. Obama also stated that it was up to Ukrainian people to determine their own future as the situation “remains very fluid.”
The remarks came as Moscow’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that any movements of Russian military within the Autonomous Republic Crimea were in line with the existing arrangements with Ukraine on the deployment of military assets in the former Soviet republic.
“We have an arrangement with Ukraine about the stationing of the Russian Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol and we are acting within the framework of that agreement,” Churkin told reporters after a private meeting of the UN Security Council.
Churkin also reminded that is was the pro-Maidan forces who broke the EU-brokered agreement and forced Viktor Yanukovich to leave the country.
“Legal aspects of declaring him to be not president any longer are very questionable,” Churkin said. “What happened there is that immediately after this agreement was signed – not just by President Yanukovich and opposition leaders but the signatures were fixed by the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland, supported by the European Union – immediately there were threats that they will be storming the Presidential residence unless he resigns by 10am the next morning. My understanding is that is what caused him to leave the city. And that of course was not something which was envisaged in the agreement. That was a clear breach of that agreement.”
The document to settle the Ukrainian political crisis was signed on February 21 and certified by the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France.