Updated 12:31 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – Western politicians' recent habit to equate “Russian threat” to the actions of the Islamic State (IS) militants is outrageous, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to Channel 5.
“This is simply outrageous. It is beyond good and evil,” Lavrov said, commenting on the article written jointly by US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron that was published on the eve of the NATO summit in Wales.
“The moment when this article was being written and published, Americans contacted us asking how to improve our bilateral efforts to fight international terrorism, namely, with the Islamic State,” the minister said.
The article, titled “We will not be cowed by barbaric killers,” appeared in The Times on September 4, saying in one of the opening passages that, “To the east, Russia has ripped up the rulebook with its illegal, self-declared annexation of Crimea and its troops on Ukrainian soil threatening a sovereign nation state. To the south, there is an arc of instability from north Africa and the Sahel to the Middle East.”
In March, Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, voted for reunification with Russia, after it refused to acknowledge the new Kiev authorities that came to power as a result of the February 22 government coup in Ukraine.
Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum, with 96 percent of voters in the region supporting the move. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a reunification treaty with Crimean leaders on March 18.
In response to the reunification, the United States and the European Union said they refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia alleging it violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in Ukrainian internal conflict and said that all of its actions were in line with the international law and the UN Charter.