'Ukraine is expecting the Italian ambassador for a chat at its Foreign Ministry after Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Interior Minister, slammed the 2014 Euromaidan protests and coup in Kiev as “pseudo-revolution” sponsored from abroad.
"On Monday, we'll be meeting with the Italian ambassador [Davide La Cecilia]. He's a nice person and we understand that he can't be held responsible for the words of the politicians in his home county," Olena Zerkal, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, told the local Channel 5 on Friday.
Salvini made the comments that infuriated the Ukrainian authorities during his interview with the Washington Post, which was published earlier this week. US journalist, Lally Weymouth, tried to grill the minister over his support for Crimea’s return to Russia. The journalist called the referendum that took place in the region “fake.”
“Compare it to the fake revolution in Ukraine, which was a pseudo-revolution funded by foreign powers – similar to the Arab Spring revolutions,” Salvini shot back, pointing out that 90 percent of Crimeans voted for the return of the peninsula to the Russian Federation.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry responded with a statement, saying that Salvini words were "not grounded in real facts and in contradiction of recognized principles and norms of international law."
Zerkal also attempted to downplay Salvini’s words on Friday by saying that "it was hard to expect any different rhetoric from him," following Salvini’s previous visit to Crimea while being an Italian lawmaker.'
Read more: ‘Fake revolution’: Kiev summons Italy envoy after Salvini rips into ‘foreign-funded’ Ukraine unrest
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