Senior Russian parliamentarians urged Ukraine to sack its foreign minister for calling President Vladimir Putin a "dickhead" during a violent protest outside Russia’s embassy in Kiev.
Acting foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia tried to persuade protesters not to use violence at the rally on Saturday evening, during which the Russian flag was ripped up, vehicles overturned and stones and eggs thrown.
“We must fulfill our international obligations, including defending the right of Russia to have an embassy in Ukraine,” he told protesters, angered by pro-Russian separatists shooting down a military cargo plane in east Ukraine, killing 49.
But challenged by the protesters, he added: “Did I say I am against you protesting? I am for you protesting. I am ready to be here with you and say ‘Russia, get out of Ukraine’.” He went on to say: “Yes, Putin is a dickhead, yes,” and the protesters responded by chanting the phrase. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has protested to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe about the rally and the US and the EU have condemned it.
Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko should dismiss Deshchytsia.
“Poroshenko should change his foreign minister. He doesn’t control himself very well,” Pushkov said on Twitter He went on to suggest in televised comments that Moscow should halt all dialogue with, and cut off gas supplies to Ukraine.
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