Putin: Ukraine crisis stems from U.S.' unprofessional actions

Russia does not feel deceived as regards the way the events are developing in Ukraine, but Moscow does not understand why it was necessary to let the things in this country go as far as to grow into a full-blown crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia does not feel deceived as regards the way the events are developing in Ukraine, but Moscow does not understand why it was necessary to let the things in this country go as far as to grow into a full-blown crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Speaking in an interview with Il Corriere della Sera in the run up to his visit to Italy, Putin pointed out that the unrest in Kyiv was "actively supported both by our European and American partners," then a coup d'etat followed, which, in his words, was "a totally anti-constitutional act," and finally this led to a civil war involving hundreds of fatalities.

Simultaneously, these events have led to the Ukrainian economy's and social sector's collapse and full disintegration of economic ties between Ukraine and Russia, he said.

"I don't understand why this was done. I have asked many of my colleagues, including in Europe and America, about it," Putin said.

Asked what his counterparts answer, Putin quoted them as saying: "The situation got out of control."

Putin pointed out that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition signed an agreement on February 21, 2014 "on how to proceed, how to organize political life in the country, and on the need to hold early elections."

"They should have worked to implement this agreement, especially since three European foreign ministers signed this agreement as guarantors of its implementation," he said.

"If those colleagues were used for the sake of appearances and they were not in control of the situation on the ground, which was in fact in the hands of the U.S. ambassador or a CIA resident, they should have said: 'You know, we did not agree to coups d'etat, so we will not support you; you should go and hold elections instead," he said.

The situation in Ukraine would have developed in an absolutely different way if the Americans and Europeans had stopped supporting those who resorted to unconstitutional actions, he said.

"So, I believe that this crisis was created deliberately and it is the result of our partner's unprofessional actions. And the coverage of this process has been absolutely unacceptable," Putin said.

He reiterated that this was not Russia's choice, and it was simply forced to respond to what was happening.

"It is not that we feel deceived or treated unfairly. This is not the point. The point is that relationships should be built on a long-term basis, not in the atmosphere of confrontation, but in the spirit of cooperation," Putin said.

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