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BRUSSELS, June 02, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has urged the Russia-NATO Council to demand from the Kiev authorities to immediately stop a military operation in the southeast of the country as well as to comply with the Geneva accord and the OSCE ‘road map’, Russia’s Ambassador NATO Alexander Grushko said on Monday after a Council session on Ukraine at the level of ambassadors.
The session was called by the Russian side in view of a worsening situation in the east of Ukraine. Grushko said the session was aimed “to discuss the situation with security in Ukraine, it being understood that neither NATO nor the Russia-NATO Council have any political role at all”.
“But a war is raging near the Russian border, and we believe it is necessary to employ all possibilities to put an end to violence and take the situation onto a peaceful road of negotiations,” he said. “We urged the Council members to demand from the Kiev authorities to immediately stop the punitive operation in the southeast of the country, to begin the implementation of the Geneva accord of April 17 and the ‘road map’ of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe,” he said.
According to the ambassador, this would make it possible to launch a national dialogue, to coordinate a constitutional reform acceptable for all. “We also expect the Alliance to at last denounce the criminal wrongdoing of radical nationalists, committed in different Ukrainian cities,” Grushko said.
He recalled that in February NATO “urged the Ukrainian government to immediately stop violence,” emphasized the inadmissibility “of interference of armed forces in the political process,” which is banned by the Ukrainian Constitution, and pointed “to the importance of an inclusive political dialogue based on democratic values, respect for human right, the rights of minorities as well as supremacy of law”.
“We don’t see reasons that would prevent it from repeating these statements now,” he added. “We drew attention to the fact that NATO offers technical assistance to Kiev, its ‘partner for peace’, thus encouraging the authorities to continue the use of force. Thus, the Alliance assumes its part of responsibility for an escalation of the situation and disruption of political process,” he said.
He also pointed to “an unprecedented activity of NATO close to the Russian borders”. “It is excessive, not adequate and weakens stability, security and predictability in the Euro-Atlantic region,” he added. “Is evident that flexing military muscle, appeals for the buildup of military expenses are counter-productive. This is a dead-end track. These actions are fraught with a growing tension in the Euro-Atlantic region and disruption of the existing system of security in the region,” Grushko added.
Although the session demonstrated different views of what is to be done first to de-escalate the situation, “we note NATO’s understanding of a need for compliance with the Geneva accord and acknowledgement that political-diplomatic settlement is the only way out of the crisis,” the ambassador said.