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Truce in Ukraine fragile, but a step towards a dialogue - Kremlin administration head

October 15, 2014, 2:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“All that is connected with Ukraine can hardly be forecasted now, all the more if we speak about long-term forecasts,” he admitted

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© Valery Sharifulin / TASS, file

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The head of the Kremlin administration assesses a truce in Ukraine as “very fragile,” saying also that there is no alternative to a real ceasefire.

“The truce is very fragile. In my opinion all parties in the conflict, I mean the militias and the Ukrainian authorities - realize that no matter how difficult it could be, there is no alternative [to a ceasefire],” Sergey Ivanov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Wednesday.

“What else - fighting to the bitter end? To the last Ukrainian? Any sober-minded person understands that this is the road towards a total catastrophe,” he said.

“All that is connected with Ukraine can hardly be forecasted now, all the more if we speak about long-term forecasts,” he admitted. Ivanov reminded the readers about the background of the Ukrainian crisis - first the then President Viktor Yanukovich decided to postpone for a year the singing of an association deal with the European Union, “then came Maidan, a revolution and here we go”.

“And it all ended with the current President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, also aware of a huge damage for the country’s economy from an immediate association with the EU (which runs into dozens of billions of dollars) asking to postpone the implementation of the agreement,” he said.

“Poroshenko asked for exactly the same as Yanukovich. The question emerges: was the game worth the candle? Huge amounts of blood spilled: thousands of people killed and tortured,” he added. “It is very difficult to agree, to trust the partner at least a little bit” against this background,” he said.

With that in view, Ivanov said he believed a truce should be achieved first. “All the more that there is progress for all the difficulties,” he said, explaining that the official Kiev and the militias had agreed on a demarcation line. “And in the future, I am absolutely confident it will give a certain basis for the start of a political dialogue. As long as people keep shelling each other, there can’t be any talk about a dialogue, naturally,” the head of the Kremlin administration said.

He said he could not speak about how the situation could develop in the future. “In the long run, Russia is not a party in the conflict. It is a civil war in Ukraine,” Ivanov said.

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