MOSCOW, March 8 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said on Saturday the new Ukrainian government should
stick to an agreement signed by the ousted president, signalling
no change in Moscow's position over the Crimea crisis.
The peace deal on Feb. 21 between now-deposed President
Viktor Yanukovich and leaders of what were then opposition
parties foresaw the creation of a national unity government and
an investigation into the deaths of protesters in Kiev.
"This document is not being adhered to in terms of the
obligations which these people undertook," Lavrov told a news
conference in Moscow.
Yanukovich was backed by Moscow, which is worried by the new
Ukrainian government's plans to forge closer ties with the
European Union in a geopolitical battle between East and West
over the fate of the former Soviet republic.
Lavrov said Moscow was ready for dialogue but accused the
government in Kiev of taking orders from people he described as
extremists and denied Moscow had any direct role in the crisis
in Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
Russian forces in uniforms with no markings have surrounded
Ukrainian bases on the peninsula since they took control of it
last week, and the region's pro-Russia separatist leadership has
ordered the Ukrainians to surrender.
"The interim government... is not independent. It depends,
unfortunately, on radical nationalists who carried out an armed
coup," Lavrov said.