On Sunday, the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, denied a claim from the United Kingdom that Russia intends to replace the Ukraine government with a pro-Moscow administration and that ex-Ukrainian representative Yevhenity Murayev is a possible nominee. On the other hand, the U.K. Foreign Office named many other Ukrainian politicians on Saturday that had links with intelligence services of Russia, along with Murayev, the leader of a small political party with no seats in parliament.
Those lawmakers include former prime minister Mykola Azarov under Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych ousted in 2014 unrest and former chief of staff. The Foreign Office said that some of these politicians have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in preparation for an attack on Ukraine. Murayev told the Associated Press through Skype that the U.K. claim looks funny and ridiculous and that he denied entry to Russia since 2018 on the grounds of a threat to Russian security.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the United Kingdom claim that Russia plans to replace the Ukrainian administration with a pro-Moscow government and that former Ukraine’s representative Yevheniy Murayev is the most probable candidate. pic.twitter.com/44yUqgYmhE
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) January 24, 2022
Further, he said that economic sanctions were imposed following a dispute with Viktor Medvedchuk, the most notable pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nashi party of Murayev – whose name reiterates the former Russian youth movement that supported the Russian president – regarded as sympathetic to Russia, but representative Murayev emphasized characterizing it as pro-Russia.
Ukraine with Neutral Status
In a Facebook post, he said that the time of pro-Russian and pro-Western Ukrainian lawmakers was gone forever. Murayev told the Associated Press that everything that doesn’t back the pro-Western Ukrainian development path is pro-Russia. In addition, he said that he supports Ukraine with neutral status and believes that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is indistinguishable from continuing the war.
Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been fighting in the east of Ukraine since 2014, a dispute that killed over fourteen thousand individuals. Volodymyr Fesenko, the Ukrainian political analyst, described Murayev as the most prominent personality in the pro-Russia Ukrainian camp. He added that Murayev is a second choice. Further, he adds that Murayev has no direct connections in the Kremlin.
The British government’s claim was based on intelligence information without offering evidence to back it up. The advancement came amid high tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s designs on Ukraine and escalating allegations from both sides that the other is planning aggravations. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Sunday that the misinformation from the Foreign Office of the U.K. is more evidence that it is the NATO nations, headed by the Anglo-Saxons, who are intensifying tensions across Ukraine.
Zakharova states that they call on the U.K. Foreign Office to stop provoking activities and stop spending nonsense. Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, said the info shed light on the extent of Russian activity designed to undermine Ukraine and is an understanding into Kremlin thinking. Moreover, the United Kingdom sent anti-tank weapons to Ukraine as part of efforts to strengthen the defense level of the country against a possible Russian attack.
The U.S. Campaign to Unify its European Allies
In recent months, the United States has sped up its aggressive campaign to unify its European partners against the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the White House called the British government evaluation deeply concerning and said that it stands with the appropriately elected allies in Ukraine, Emily Horne, the spokeswoman of the National Security Council, said.
The recent assessment came as the United States President Joe Biden visited the presidential retreat Camp David outside of Washington, nestling with his senior federal security team about the situation of Ukraine. Additionally, a White House official said that the talks included attempts to normalize the situation with deterrence measures and diplomacy with the help of partners and allies.
The U.S. will also provide security assistance to Ukraine. On Sunday, the United States State Department ordered the American personnel families at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country immediately amid escalated concerns of a Russian incursion.