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Kerry's Ukrainian Opposition meeting 'circus': Russia

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Russia has slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s planned meeting with Ukrainian opposition leaders.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called Kerry’s upcoming meeting with the major figures of the opposition a “circus.”

“It’s also necessary to involve Verka Serdyuchka in the talks,” he tweeted on Friday, referring to a popular Ukrainian drag queen character.

“Her/his authoritative opinion should be heard by the White House and taken into account,” he said sarcastically.

Moscow’s sharp criticism came after a senior State Department official confirmed that Kerry will have an opportunity to have his first meeting with the major figures of the opposition on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany on Saturday.

“There’s the question of whether they can move on to form a government of national unity. So they’re coming to Munich in the middle of this negotiating process on what the political compact might look like going forward,” the US official said on Thursday, AFP reported.

Among those slated to hold talks with the top US diplomat are Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) leader and world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, and Fatherland Party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Government representatives, including Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, are also expected to attend the Munich talks.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed concerns over the escalating violence in the capital Kiev, warning that its support for Ukraine will be cut if authorities continue the crackdown against demonstrators.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the West for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Criticizing the trips of European and US officials to Ukraine to support anti-government protests, he said, “I can imagine how our European partners would react if our foreign minister addressed an anti-EU meeting in Greece or Cyprus at the peak of the crisis there.”

The Russian president stressed that the visits worsened the crisis in the country.

Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing the Association Agreement with the European Union at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 29, 2013.

Kiev refused to sign the agreement after EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.


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