Russian President Vladimir Putin told the new US Ambassador to Moscow, Lynne Tracy, that Washington’s support for the Maidan protesters in 2014 was to blame for the conflict in Ukraine.
“Dear Madam Ambassador, I do not want to disturb the gracious atmosphere of the presentation of credentials and I know that you may not agree with me, but I cannot but say that the use of such instruments by the United States in its foreign policy as support for the so-called ‘color revolutions,’ support in this regard by the State Department of the coup in Kyiv in 2014, ultimately have led to the current Ukrainian crisis,” Putin told Tracy as he accepted her credentials. “[US actions] additionally made a negative impact on the degradation of Russian-American relations.”
About the Maidan protests: More than 70 people died during the 2014 protests, which were sparked by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scrap a trade deal with the European Union and instead turn toward Russia. On the bloodiest day in Kyiv’s Maidan, or Independence Square, nearly 50 people died and 100 were injured when, according to protesters, government snipers opened fire on them.
Putin on Wednesday also said relations between Russia and the US were at a low point.
“Relations between Russia and the United States, on which global security and stability directly depend, are in a deep crisis, unfortunately,” Putin said. “It is based on fundamentally different approaches to the formation of the modern world order.”
Putin also places blame on EU: The Russian president also said Wednesday that he regrets the deterioration of EU-Moscow relations and claimed the European Union has “initiated a geopolitical confrontation” with his country.
“The head of the European Union delegation, who is here, probably shares the opinion that relations between this association and Russia have deteriorated greatly in recent years, to our great regret,” Putin said during the ceremony in the Kremlin, where he accepted official credentials from 17 foreign ambassadors.
“We see the reason for this in the fact that, leaving aside its main initial mission and the function of developing economic cooperation and integration on the European continent, the EU has initiated a geopolitical confrontation with Russia,” he added.
CNN’s Katharina Krebs and Radina Gigova contributed reporting to this post.