MOSCOW, September 03 /ITAR-TASS/. US President Barack Obama has an idee fixe to accuse Russia of playing a destructive role in the Ukrainian crisis, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
Obama said in Tallinn earlier Wednesday that the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine is beyond doubt.
Commenting on the statement, Peskov told the Russkaya Sluzhba Novostey radio that the American president’s words contradict data of the US Department of State, which admitted Tuesday that it does not have independent evidence that Russian troops crossed the border with Ukraine.
“We have repeatedly said there are no Russian troops in Ukraine,” the spokesman said. "When President Obama says it is beyond doubt, US State Department officials… say the US has no proof of Russian troops’ presence in Ukraine.”
“The situation stresses the unwillingness to use facts. It’s just an id·e fixe to attribute to Russia a destructive role in the development of the Ukrainian crisis, which we strongly disagree with,” he said.
The southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions have been the scene of fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias as the Ukrainian armed forces have been conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.
Kiev's operation, conducted since mid-April, has employed armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.
Russia has repeatedly denied at different levels all claims that its troops are allegedly present on Ukrainian territory.
In the latest developments, a statement posted on Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s official website on August 28 claimed Poroshenko canceled his visit to Turkey “due to sharp aggravation of the situation in the Donetsk Region, in particular in Amvrosiyevka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine.”
But Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin said after a meeting of the organization’s Permanent Council that Russian servicemen and military hardware are not taking part in hostilities in Ukraine.
“We clearly stated that there is no participation of Russian military. We do not supply any hardware there,” Kelin said.