MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Kiev to speed up implementation of political provisions of the Minsk agreement, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday following a report of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
"Cases of ceasefire violation noted in the report cause serious concern," the ministry said. "Nevertheless, it notes a relevant stabilization of the situation in the country’s southeastern regions. It points to a considerable decrease in terms of casualties among civilians to the lowest figure since the conflict outbreak."
The humanitarian and human rights situation in Donbass, according to the mission, remains difficult. "It is being further aggravated by Kiev’s economic blockade of the region, Ukraine’s suspension of a number of international human rights agreements in the conflict zone and imposing a special regime of crossing the engagement line," the Russian foreign ministry said. "People in the conflict zone are actually surviving only thanks to humanitarian assistance, including from Russia."
"We are confident that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is the only possible way to settle the conflict in Donbass and stabilize the human rights situation in the rest of Ukraine," the ministry said. "Bearing this in mind, we share the conclusion of experts that the most vital thing at the current point is to conduct a constitutional reform and pass a law on decentralization of power in Ukraine in strict compliance with the Package of Measures agreed in Minsk. We call on Kiev to dramatically speed up this process."
The ministry praised the mission for its "keen attention to flagrant violations of human rights by Ukrainian armed forces and security services in southeastern regions." Moscow shares the mission’s concern over Ukraine’s reluctance to investigate these crimes. "We cannot but note that Ukraine’s Security Council, being a major violator, as can be seen from the report, openly hampers efforts against unlawfulness and the search for those responsible in trespassing the law," the ministry stressed.
The mission noted similar problems in what concerns the investigation of crimes committed in Kiev’s maidan, in Odessa and Mariupol. "The reports once again pointed to the fact that Kiev is seeking to protract the investigation, conceal its results, exert pressure on judges," the ministry said. "In general, Ukraine is still having serious problems concerning serious justice administration and observance of the norms of procedure in line with the international standards."
"The human rights mission condemns politically-motivated restrictions to the freedom of expression, assembly and mass media," the Russian foreign ministry noted. "Special concern was voiced over religion-driven clashes in a number of Ukrainian cities, including attempted seizures of Moscow patriarchate’s Ukrainian Orthodox churches by radicals. We share the mission’s opinion that the Ukrainian authorities must take measures to prevent such things."
At the same time, Moscow cannot share a number of the mission’s views, including about the measures taken by the Donetsk and Lugansk authorities to protect people’s rights.