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Lajčák: We're close to seeing armed conflict in Crimea

THE SITUATION in Ukraine's Crimea is coming increasingly close to an armed conflict, and if this continues, we may find ourselves under circumstances similar to the Cold War, Slovakia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on the public-service RTVS on March 9.

THE SITUATION in Ukraine's Crimea is coming increasingly close to an armed conflict, and if this continues, we may find ourselves under circumstances similar to the Cold War, Slovakia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on the public-service RTVS on March 9.

Lajčák at the same time criticised the Russian authorities for stating that they had not noticed any special European Union summits on the crisis in Ukraine.

“It isn't possible for them not to notice what the USA and the EU have said,” the TASR newswire quoted Lajčák as saying. “The Union is ready to act, its language has become more urgent. The EU has sent out a clear message that if we see no results soon, we're ready to proceed further. And this can't be underestimated.”

Lajčák went on to say that it is vital that the rules that govern the whole spectrum of post-war international law are respected.

“We have to respect the rules of the game, whether we like it or not,” Lajčák said with respect to Russia's claims on Crimea. “Otherwise, it will lead to anarchy.”

Also appearing on the show, Most-Híd MP and head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee František Šebej stated that he thinks a cold war on a somewhat smaller scale has already begun. Šebej added that even if Ukraine has already lost Crimea, there are other regions in the country to be protected. In this context, he said that sanctions imposed by the international community on Russia are useful in terms of putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin and preventing him from further expansion.

“The extent of Putin's territorial ambitions is also influenced by the urgency of the stance that the West assumes towards the violation of international law,” emphasised Šebej.

With respect to the alleged inactivity of the West concerning the Ukrainian conflict, Lajčák said that although it may appear that everybody is only waiting for some kind of stimulus, this is far from the truth.

“There are very intensive behind-the-scenes diplomatic talks going on at the moment. The thing is that if we fail to find a solution by March 16 [when a referendum in Crimea on joining Russia is scheduled to take place - ed. note], we'll have to face a completely different scenario. I hope that we'll reach some agreement by March 16,” said Lajčák.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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