Russian minister says the US needs to stop ‘throwing tantrums’ about Crimea and ‘practice yoga or watch comedy shows’ to calm down
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister accuses U.S. of ‘hysteria’ over Crimea
- West imposed sanctions on officials and businessman in response to move
- Sergei Ryabkov has told U.S. to ‘practice yoga or watch comedy shows’
A senior Russian diplomat has advised U.S. policymakers to calm down and ‘practice yoga’ following their response to the annexation of Crimea.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the U.S. of ‘tantrums, weeping and hysteria’ following last month’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
The West has imposed sanctions on officials and businessmen believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin in response to the move.
While many of those blacklisted have mocked the sanctions, wearing them as a badge of honour, they have also rankled Moscow, with officials warning the West was only doing damage to itself.
Ryabkov has now told the Interfax news agency: ‘What can one advise our U.S. colleagues to do? Spend more time in the open, practice yoga, stick to food-combining diets, maybe watch some comedy sketch shows on TV.
‘This would be better than winding oneself up and winding up others, knowing that the ship has already sailed … Tantrums, weeping and hysteria won’t help.’
His remarks followed disclosure by U.S. officials that Washington had added space agency NASA to a list of U.S. entities banned from contacting Russian government envoys, a largely symbolic gesture to raise pressure on Russia.
Ryabkov said such a freeze in bilateral contacts had caused ‘ridiculous situations’ when meetings between meteorologists from both countries had to be cancelled.
‘Oh well, that’s the Americans’ choice,’ he said.
‘One can see that the U.S. leadership is “fixated”, and they fail to accept the situation which has been shaped largely by the line (pursued) by the United States and their European allies to bring anti-Russian forces into power in Ukraine.’
A referendum held in Crimea last month after Russian troops seized control of the Russian-majority region overwhelmingly backed union with Russia, but was denounced by Washington and the European Union as a sham amounting to a land grab. The vote opened the way for annexation within a week.
Russia intervened in Crimea after the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich following deadly clashes between riot police and protesters trying to overturn his decision to spurn a trade and cooperation deal with the EU in favour of cultivating closer relations with old Soviet master Moscow.
Russia accused the West of orchestrating the ‘coup’ against Yanukovich, and some analysts say the Crimea annexation was Putin’s punishment of the West for ignoring Moscow’s interest in the former Soviet republic that it considers to be its backyard.
The Kremlin has also demanded NATO explain its activities in eastern Europe, not far from old Soviet borders, after the Western military alliance pledged to improve defences for its eastern members following Russia’s takeover of Crimea.