US undermining Ukraine peace plan: Russia
Russia accused Washington on Thursday of undermining peace efforts in Ukraine by supporting opponents to a ceasefire plan put forward by President Vladimir Putin.
"A spike in anti-Russian rhetoric... just as we are seeing the most active efforts to reach a political settlement speaks only of the fact that a pro-war party in Kiev enjoys active support from outside, from the United States in this case," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Lavrov noted that Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had announced a renewed bid for Ukraine to join NATO just as diplomatic efforts picked up to end the nearly five months of fighting in eastern Ukraine and that the prime minister had also come out against Putin's plan.
"Those who stand on the warpath... are taking on an enormous responsibility, not only for continuing the bloodshed, but also for undermining the legitimacy of the actions of the Ukrainian president," Lavrov said in televised comments.
"I hope that they understand that in Washington and other capitals that are drunk on anti-Russian rhetoric."
Lavrov had earlier called a renewed Ukrainian NATO bid "an obvious attempt to derail" the peace plan.
Lavrov's comments came as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told NATO leaders at a summit in Wales that a ceasefire plan would be signed on Friday.
Representatives of the pro-Russian rebels, Kiev, Moscow and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were due to meet Friday in Minsk.
© 2014 AFP