Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, attending the international security meeting at The Hague has met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. It is the first such encounter since the controversial annexation of Crimea. He told reporters of his aspirations for the talks.
“I will demand that there is no escalation to the situation but at the same time offering our readiness to start talks with Russia,” said Andriy Deshchytsia
It’s understood Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the informal meeting though specific details have not been released. Afterwards Lavrov was asked if there were parallels between Crimea and Kosovo.
“When our partners compare Crimea with Kosovo just reflect for a moment – there was a lot of blood before Kosovo’s independence was recognised. So I have a question as well, ‘Do we need a lot of blood to be spilled in Crimea for everybody to agree that the people of Crimea have a right to self determination,” he responded.
In Moscow at Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council a symbolic ceremony marked the official annexation of the Crimean region.
The flags of Crimea and Sevastopol, the two new Russian administrative districts were added to the Federation’s line of other Russian regional flags.