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Russian envoy warns against politicizing UN mission in Ukraine

January 28, 5:57 updated at: January 28, 6:24 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry earlier said the UN mission began its work in the country on January 23 to assess the volume of the necessary effort on mine clearing of Donbass
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Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

© EPA/JASON SZENES

UNITED NATIONS, January 28. /TASS/. Moscow backs the UN mission in Ukraine that will focus on the mine clearance issues, but believes it is unacceptable if its work is "political," Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin told TASS on Thursday.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry earlier said the UN mission began its work in the country on January 23 to assess the volume of the necessary effort on mine clearing of Donbas. The mission will include the representatives of the UN Development Program, UN Children's Fund and UN Service for mine clearing.

Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations has expressed concerns that the new initiative of Ukraine’s authorities is one of "smoke bombs" that they throw from time to time to "fog the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements."

"There is a threat that they (Ukraine’s authorities) will try to generate some pressure on the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as this affair has not been agreed with them. But the mission is not planning to go to the territory uncontrolled by Ukraine’s authorities now," the diplomat added.

"So we are not against that they assist mine clearance but then they should limit themselves to these issues and not try to give them any propaganda or political character," Churkin stressed.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has earlier said it expects the UN to confirm that the mission is of an exclusively humanitarian character and has no relation to Kiev’s intention to bring foreign peacekeepers to Donbas.

DPR’s leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Tuesday the authorities of the self-proclaimed republic were ready to accept the assistance to solve certain tasks, for example, mine clearance on the territories that were the scene of combat actions.

"We do not refuse to get assistance if this assistance is sincere and pursues no other political or military goals that can inflict damage on the DPR," Zakharchenko said.

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