Russia slams as 'circus' Kerry Ukraine opposition meetings

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Portuguese Foreign Minister Rui Machete speak to the press before a meeting at the State Department January 29, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

MOSCOW: Russia on Friday slammed as a "circus" US Secretary of State John Kerry's planned weekend meeting with Ukrainian opposition leaders.

The top US diplomat is due to meet former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, leader of the UDAR (Punch) party and opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Russia's outspoken Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called Kerry's upcoming meetings a "circus" in a tweet on Friday.

"It's also necessary to involve Verka Serdyuchka in the talks," he said in apparent sarcasm, referring to Ukraine's bombastic drag queen pop star.

"Her/his authoritative opinion should be heard by the White House and taken into account!"

The crisis in ex-Soviet Ukraine flared in November after President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of a key pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with historical master Moscow.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned against foreign interference in the country's worst crisis since its 1991 independence.

In Munich, Kerry is also expected to meet Ukraine's pop singer Ruslana, who has encouraged protesters to keep up their fight against Yanukovych.





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