Leader's Adviser Blames Ukraine Unrest on Foreign Interference
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A top adviser to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said the recent political unrest in Ukraine has been provoked by the West, adding that the fate of the former Soviet Republic should be determined by the Ukrainian people alone.
“The Ukrainians want to live independently and have the right to determine their fate by themselves. They do not want to see some of their politicians as a tool in the hands of the westerners,” Director of the Strategic Research Center of Iran's Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati said in Tehran on Monday.
“Whatever has happened to the Ukrainian people and has upset the previous situation is the aliens’ interference,” he underlined.
Velayati added that the western countries have kept meddling in the internal affairs of Russia’s neighboring countries even after dissolution of the Soviet Union, and said, “The westerners’ interference in Ukraine is part of a broader strategic plan by NATO (members) in order to expand into the East.”
“We believe that the Ukrainian people should be left to their own devices to freely determine their fate, meaning that the country should be governed by an elected government,” Velayati pointed out.
In relevant comments earlier in the day, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi decried foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, and blamed the US and Europe for undermining that country’s independence.
“Changing the name of the ‘Independence Square’ to ‘EuroMaidan’ in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev signifies a development, supported by the US and Europe, to push that country into dependence from (the current status of) independence,” the commander explained.
He also referred to the western interference in Ukraine as a “historical lesson” for the whole independent nations in the world, and called on the independent states to be cautious about the evil plots hatched by the capitalist super-powers.
Ukraine has witnessed anti-government protests since November, after former President Viktor Yanukovich refrained from signing a deal, known as the Association Agreement, with the European Union following pressure from Russia.
On Sunday, Ukraine's newly-elected parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov announced that lawmakers must form a national unity government by Tuesday following a vote to oust Yanukovich.
The latest wave of clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators erupted on February 18, after the deadline set by security authorities to end the protests expired.
According to a recent statement released by the Ukrainian Health Ministry, at least 88 people, mostly protesters, are now known to have been killed in the latest round of violence in the former Soviet Republic.