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Kremlin says Kiev alone holds the key to ending Ukrainian crisis

June 16, 2017, 5:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian officials have stated on numerous occasions that Russia is involved in the conflict in Ukraine and acts only as a mediator

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MOSCOW, June 16. /TASS/. Attempts to hold Russia responsible for implementation of the Minsk Accords are absurd, because the future of the peace deal depends only on the Kiev government, the Russian president’s official spokesman said.

"This is an internal Ukrainian conflict, so this problem can be solved only by Kiev. The Minsk agreements are the only thing that we currently have, there is no alternative to this document. Our partners’ claims that Moscow should take measures regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreements are absurd," Dmitry Peskov said during the Evening With Vladimir Solovyov television show on Thursday night.

Russian officials have stated on numerous occasions that Russia is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and acts solely as a mediator.

The Minsk provisions, backed by leaders of the "Normandy Four" group of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, were signed in the Belarussian capital in February 2015. The 13-point package envisages the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line separating the Kiev troops and local militia, along with measures for a long-term political settlement in Donbass.

During a press conference that followed his annual question-and-answer session on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he expected the Ukrainian government to show common sense and responsibility and implement the deal.

He vowed to do everything to support the people in Donbass, calling the situation "a tragedy."

"We will do everything to minimize the damage that has been done," Putin added. "We will do everything to support the people there regardless of any external factors.".

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