Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the European Union on Tuesday of putting “unforgivable pressure” on Ukraine to join a trade pact with the EU.
If Ukraine meets the EU’s conditions, signing the trade pact this month would mark a historic shift away from Russia and towards western Europe.
“We are not putting anyone under pressure … this is a sovereign choice for any state,” Lavrov told a news conference.
“If you compare our, in my opinion, honourable and collegial position with that of some representatives from the European Union, then arguably unforgivable pressure is being applied from that side on the focus (ex-Soviet) states.”
If you’ve been following the news, you know Russia has been putting the python squeeze on Ukraine. Crackdowns on inspections on the border. Turning up the heat on gas. Banning import of chocolate. The Euros have been limited to tut-tutting about Tymoshenko. And if anything, they have been trying to entice the Ukrainians, rather than bully them.
The Russians act as if you catch more flies with gall than honey: the Euros the reverse. But despite all the abundant evidence, Lavrov suggests that the Russians have been the ones offering sweets (even as they cut off Ukranian exports of sugary comestibles.)
You have to give the guy credit. Nobody does chutzpah like he does.