Lavrov challenges U.S. claims that Russia has role in Ukraine unrest

Claims that Russia is financing massive protests in southeastern Ukraine should be left on the American partners' conscience, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Claims that Russia is financing massive protests in southeastern Ukraine should be left on the American partners' conscience, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"Concerning who financed what in this situation, a rather large amount of information has leaked through, is available and has never been denied by anyone. These payments are connected with the deeply rooted causes of the current crisis in Ukraine," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday when asked by Interfax to comment on Washington's claims that Russia played a role in mass disturbances in southeastern Ukraine.

"Therefore, I will leave these claims on the conscience of our American partners. One shouldn't lay one's own fault at somebody else's door," Lavrov said.

"Our American partners are trying to assess the situation, applying their habits to others," Lavrov said. He also said that White House spokesman Jay Carney earlier claimed that some of the rallies held in southeastern Ukraine had been paid for, that people who do not belong to the place were taking part in them and that external forces stood behind those events.

"He sounded as if he were back five months ago at a Maidan rally in central Kiev," the Russian foreign minister said.

Pro-Russian rallies held in Donetsk, Kharkiv>>>

Several thousand people gathered for a pro-Russian rally near the heavily guarded Donetsk regional administration headquarters on Sunday.

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