Russia tells Ukraine to stop blaming it for problems

MOSCOW Mon Apr 7, 2014 5:47pm BST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia told the authorities in Kiev on Monday to stop blaming Moscow for Ukraine's problems after they accused President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating "separatist disorder" in the east and southeast.

"Stop ... blaming all the troubles of today's Ukraine on it (Moscow)," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It reiterated Russia's call for constitutional reform that would give Ukraine's regions more powers and said that Kiev could face more troubles, if ignored it.

"If irresponsible treatment of one's country, one's nation, by the political forces who call themselves the Ukrainian authorities continues, Ukraine will inevitably be facing new troubles and crises," it said.

Russia says that under the current constitution, the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are violated.

Pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine seized arms in one city and declared a separatist republic in another in moves Kiev described as part of a Russian-orchestrated plan to justify an invasion.

Putin announced after the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-backed president that Moscow had the right to take military action in Ukraine to protect Russian speakers, deepening the biggest East-West crisis since the Cold War ended in 1991.

The United States and EU imposed financial sanctions on a number of Russian officials over the seizure of Crimea and have threatened tougher measures if Russian troops, now massed on the frontier, enter other parts of Ukraine.

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Gutterman)

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