Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that riots in Kiev have no direct relation to Ukraine and the EU deal, but rather it's an attempt by the opposition to undermine the country's legitimate government.
“As far as the events in Ukraine are concerned, to me they don’t look like a revolution, but rather like 'pogrom'. However strange this might seem, in my view it has little to do with Ukrainian-EU relations,” Putin said.
Speaking in Yerevan during his official visit to Armenia, Putin argued that the protests in Ukraine had been prepared by the opposition in advance to undermine the legitimate government of the country. However, it is “apparent” that the opposition had meant them to take place during the Ukrainian presidential campaign in March 2015, the Russian President said.
“What is happening now is a little false start due to certain circumstances… This all has been prepared for the presidential election. And that these were preparations, in my opinion, is an apparent fact for all objective observers,” Putin stressed.
He has said that now the Ukrainian opposition is either not in control of the protests, or it may serve as a cover-up for extremist activities.
The footage from Kiev clearly shows “how well-organized and trained militant groups operate,” the Russian President said.
Nobody seems to be concerned with the actual details of the Ukrainian-EU agreement, Putin said.
“They say that the Ukrainian people are being deprived of their dream. But if you look at the contents of the deal – then you’ll see that the dream may be good, but many may not live to see it,” he argued.
Putin then explained that the deal offered to Ukraine by the EU has “very harsh conditions".
The Russian government presumes that the situation in Ukraine will be back to normal, and that the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people will determine their future on their own.
“I want to stress that, regardless of the choice of the Ukrainian people, we will respect it,” Putin said.