MOSCOW: Russia’s foreign ministry on Thursday angrily dismissed as “low-grade” propaganda a list published by the US State Department of alleged false statements in President Vladimir Putin’s comments to journalists this week on Ukraine.
“We won’t descend to arguing with low-grade propaganda,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the State Department list published Wednesday titled: “President Putin’s Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine.”
The Russian ministry slammed the list as “striking not so much for its primitive distortion of reality as for its cynicism and blatant ‘double standards’.”
It did not give any specific refutations of the US claims.
The United States had no right to “moralize,” Moscow argued, citing the Vietnam War and interventions in Libya and other countries.
The State Department list questioned Putin’s statements that the armed forces backing pro-Russian authorities in Crimea are local self-defense brigades, saying there is “strong evidence” that they are Russian security forces.
It also queried Putin’s assertion that Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych remains its legitimate leader, as well as questioning his claims of thousands of refugees fleeing Ukraine and of ethnic Russians being under threat.
The Russian foreign ministry statement came out after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he and US Secretary of State John Kerry had so far failed to reach agreement on Ukraine after talks in Rome.