The Russian State Duma has called on the West not to worsen the situation in Ukraine through interfering in its internal affairs and urged the Ukrainian opposition to start a dialogue with the government.

"The State Duma is calling on Western political circles, which are interfering in the sovereign Ukraine's internal affairs in violation of international law, to stop promoting the conflict's continued escalation," the Duma said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The Duma believes that the political crisis in Ukraine was provoked by both extremist forces in the Ukrainian opposition and some Western politicians, whose interference is only contributing to the conflict's continued escalation.

"Apart from the members of the extremist part in the opposition, responsibility for the exacerbation of the situation in Ukraine rests also with Western policymakers grossly interfering in the sovereign Ukraine's internal affairs and speaking at rallies arranged by the opposition. The State Duma warns once again that it is unacceptable to put pressure on Ukraine from the outside and impose a geopolitical choice in favor of association with the European Union on it," the statement says.

The Duma warned also that the growing confrontation may dash any prospects for overcoming the financial-economic crisis, for the national economy's recovery and development, and for qualitative improvement of the Ukrainian people's lives.

The Russian parliamentarians have also urged the opposition forces in Ukraine to renounce violence in any form, immediately stop the forcible confrontation, start a constructive dialogue with the government, and resolve all problems facing Ukrainian society in strict compliance with the constitution and national law.

The statement says also that State Duma deputies are alarmed to see such a wave of civil conflict engulf brotherly Ukraine. "The protest movement's actions are assuming an increasingly widespread and aggressive nature. In fact, there have been attempts to overthrow the legitimate institutions of government through the use of force," it says.

The authors of the document regret that the confrontation has been provoked by members of the opposition "cynically calling themselves champions of democracy."

The statement also points to agreements reached between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents in December, under which Russia has provided Ukraine with a stabilizing loan and lowered the price for gas sold to Ukraine without any political preconditions.

"The State Duma deputies will provide the utmost legislative support to joint ambitious projects in the economic, scientific, and cultural sectors. The State Duma is ready to significantly step up its interaction with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada and its various factions favoring the development of a Russian-Ukrainian partnership," the statement says.

The Duma decided to forward the statement to the Russian leadership, the Ukrainian president, the Verkhovna Rada, the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Eurasian Economic Community's Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarusian-Russian Union.

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