EU didn't want Van Rompuy to learn 'truth' about Ukraine: Moscow

MOSCOW - Russia reacted angrily Wednesday to the cancellation of a visit to Moscow by European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, saying the EU did not want to know the "truth" about Ukraine.

"They did not allow the European Council president to come to Moscow. His own people," the Russian foreign ministry said in an indignant statement.

"After all, why should he learn the truth when everything is already decided anyway?" the ministry said.

Moscow insisted it had welcomed the visit planned for Wednesday "since it is really praiseworthy that Herman Van Rompuy wanted to know the truth about what is happening in Ukraine."

It accused the EU of imposing "sanctions" on Rompuy, days after the 28-nation bloc along with the United States announced travel bans and asset freezes against Russian officials.

The cancelled visit proves that there is now a "new list of sanctions: people banned from travelling from the European Union to Russia. Ironically, the number one on the list is Van Rompuy himself," the ministry said.

Russia complained that the EU had already decided Russia was "guilty" over Ukraine and imposed sanctions based on the assumption.

"They have their 'guilty': Russia and the people of Crimea, who refused to accept the logic of a neo-fascist putsch." It criticised the EU for choosing to depict as "heroes of the Ukrainian crisis... an illegitimate government that includes a whole host of open fascists."

A diplomat in Brussels told AFP late Tuesday on condition of anonymity that the confidential visit was cancelled "because the Russians made it public".

Diplomats said Van Rompuy planned to convey Europe's rejection of Russia's annexation of Crimea and avert further destabilisation in the region.

"We need someone who can talk directly to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," one diplomat said.