Lavrov steers clear of statement he allegedly made on Donetsk People's Republic

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described as "an utter lie" the statement on the Donetsk People's Republic, which Facebook postings said he allegedly made.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described as "an utter lie" the statement on the Donetsk People's Republic, which Facebook postings said he allegedly made.

"What you have quoted as part of my statement is a direct, utter and brazen lie," the Russian foreign minister said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

"I know that lies and half-truths - which are even worse than lies - are being actively used during the Ukrainian crisis by both the Ukrainian figures who have seized power in Kyiv, and by their Western patrons. But they have never gone down to such a crude lie is this one before," Lavrov said.

"It looks like the mere silencing of facts is no longer sufficient for them - the truth finally makes its way into the open after all," he said.

"Much credit for this must be given to Russian journalists' intensive activity in very uneasy conditions, sometimes at a risk to their lives," Lavrov said.

Journalists read out at a press conference a statement, attributed to Lavrov, which describes the Donetsk People's Republic as "a terrorist organization that does not represent the interests of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine." The fake statement also says that, "Russia will never recognize the Donetsk People's Republic's independence."

Commenting on the referendums, held on Sunday, the Russian foreign minister said that Moscow had taken note of high voter turnout.

"We have taken note of high voter turnout despite attempts to derail the voting, including attempts to use ultra-radical militants, the military and military hardware against civilians, which led to fatalities," Lavrov said.

Lavrov also spoke about the role of foreign ambassadors in Moscow in the necessary work to provide truthful information about the situation in Ukraine "to those in the Western capital cities who make decisions."

"I understand that Russian television channels have been virtually strangled in Ukraine. In the West they are being clogged by manipulated coverage, broadcast via the leading Western channels. But, of course, Moscow sees what Russian television shows live. I am convinced that it is their duty to generalize the facts seen live and to provide reports for their capitals. Or else their work will be absolutely unprofessional," he said.

"I have no doubts that Washington, Brussels and the European capitals are well-informed about the essence of what is going on. It is therefore still more disappointing to see the position being assumed by our Western partners and their attempts to turn everything upside down, to shake off responsibility for the actions, taken by the regime that they themselves brought to power, and to shift this responsibility onto the Russian Federation. I don't think we will have to wait long before an increasing number of objective observers start realizing that these attempts are falling through," the Russian foreign minister said.

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