MOSCOW — Accusing the West of plotting to control Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared Friday that the pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine will only lay down their arms if the Ukrainian government clears out the Maidan protest camp in Kiev.
"The West wants — and this is how it all began — to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people," Lavrov said.
He added the pro-Russia insurgents will disarm and vacate buildings "only if Kiev authorities get down to implementing the Geneva accords, clear out that shameful Maidan and liberate the buildings that have been illegally seized."
Ukraine's reaction was swift.
"The world has not yet forgotten the second World War, but Russia is already keen on starting a third world war," acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk retorted.