MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. The recent visit by US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker to Donbass "adds fuel to the fire," Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"By playing along with Kiev’s militaristic drive and openly lobbying the idea of supplying lethal armaments there, which certainly won’t bring peace and solve the situation, Mr. Volker is not only adding fuel to the fire but is also associating himself with one of the warring parties," the diplomat said.
This calls into question his role as a mediator in settling the Ukrainian crisis, she noted.
"Unfortunately, instead of demanding that Kiev halt the escalation of military tensions and remind the Ukrainian leadership about the need to fulfill their commitments under the Minsk accords, Volker has traditionally voiced a number of odious theses," Zakharova emphasized.
Among them is the US envoy’s refusal to acknowledge the republics of Donbass. "This shows that he either did not read the Minsk agreements or does not want to notice what’s obvious." Zakharova stressed that the February 2015 deal was signed by representatives of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics. "Without any direct dialogue with them it is impossible to make any progress in settling the conflict, and this concerns any moves politically, security-wise, or discussions on the presence of the UN forces in the region."
According to Zakharova, the authorities in Kiev viewed Volker’s visit as some sort of greenlight to ramp up military tensions in Donbass.
"Obviously, by no coincidence, after the US guest’s departure the Ukrainian Armed Forces stepped up military provocations near the Donetsk filtration plant, near Gorlovka and other settlements," she specified. "Volker’s support of Kiev’s moves is perceived by the Ukrainian authorities as an obvious carte blanche for military adventures."
US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker arrived in Ukraine on May 14. He began his trip by visiting the areas in Donbass controlled by Kiev’s armed forces. Speaking at a press conference in Slavyansk, Volker said he did not consider it possible to visit Donetsk and Lugansk until Kiev regained control of these territories. He reiterated Washington’s stance that in order to restore peace in the region a UN mission should be deployed there.