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Moscow does not rule out that Kiev is preparing military scenario of returning Donbass

March 16, 2016, 18:59 UTC+3

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin expressed hope that this scenario "will not settle down in the heads of those people who make decisions" in Kiev

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© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

PRAGUE, March 16. /TASS/. Moscow does not rule out that Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a military scenario of returning Donbass but hopes that this will not happen, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS on Wednesday.

"I would not want to think like this, though, honestly speaking, those events that Ukrainian Armed Forces organize in close proximity to the contact line, including rotation of servicemen, strengthening the military component, demonstrate that the military scenario is probably not ruled out," Karasin said.

The diplomat expressed hope that this scenario "will not settle down in the heads of those people who make decisions" in Kiev.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko previously told a Turkish TV channel in an interview that he will return Donbass in one year by peaceful means. However, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Republics (DPR and LPR) regularly report that Kiev is building up forces near the contact line in Donbass.

The Minsk accords were signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The package of measures envisages ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

Kiev intentionally disrupts international efforts on elections in Donbass

Kiev has been deliberately disrupting the international community's constructive efforts aimed at holding local elections in Donbass, the diplomat went on to say.

"The latest meeting of the Normandy Four foreign ministers in Paris showed again that all international efforts run against stiff resentment and a wall of misapprehension from Kiev that pursues its own internal political goals and intentionally disrupts the constructive policy on elections in Donbass," said Karasin, the state secretary, noting that Kiev needed to adopt concrete laws for holding elections in Donbass.

"A triad of laws [a law on elections, a law on special status for certain parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and a law on amnesty - eds. TASS] remains a necessary condition so that we can talk in principle about elections," he said.

Also, another significant condition for holding elections remains the start of a direct dialog between Kiev and Donbass, he said.

"The rest is harmful lyrics, which pursues one goal: to imitate activity amid Kiev’s total unwillingness to undertake concrete steps for holding the elections we have been talking about," the senior Russian diplomat said.


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