Lavrov Warns Over Russia Regime Change

Lavrov Warns Over Russia Regime ChangeLavrov Warns Over Russia Regime Change

Western sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine are aimed at forcing regime change in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says, BBC reported.

Speaking to foreign policy advisers in Moscow, Lavrov referred to calls for sanctions that will "destroy the economy and cause public protests." On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow must guard against a "color revolution". Russia denies arming Ukrainian rebels or sending Russian troops there.

Western sanctions were first imposed when Russia annexed Ukraine's region of Crimea in March following a controversial referendum. Further measures have been added since, targeting senior Russian officials as well as defense firms, banks and the country's oil industry.

Referring to popular uprisings in former Soviet countries including Ukraine and Georgia, President Putin said the world could see "what tragic consequences the wave of the so-called color revolutions has led to."

Addressing the advisory Foreign and Defense Policy Council in Moscow, Lavrov said, "As for the concept behind to the use of coercive measures, the West is making clear it does not want to force Russia to change policy but wants to secure regime change."

"Public figures in Western countries say there is a need to impose sanctions that will destroy the economy and cause public protests," Lavrov said without naming any Western officials.