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Moscow bewildered over Poroshenko’s statement on border closure — Foreign Ministry

December 11, 2014, 15:12 UTC+3
Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, and noone to pull back
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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Moscow is surprised by the statements of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on shutting the Russian-Ukrainian border as this issue has never been raised, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“I have seen Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statement (about closing the border with Russia),” Lukashevich said. “To be honest, such statements produce bewilderment and a great deal of confusion.”

“First, we have been reiterating that there were not and there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, so nothing is to be withdrawn,” the diplomat said.

“As for the border, it is absolutely secured from our side,” Lukashevich said. “Observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have been deployed at two border checkpoints - Gukovo and Donetsk - upon a voluntary decision of the Ukrainian side.”

“Speaking about the Ukrainian section of the border, representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk should be directly involved in negotiations there,” he said.

“Border closure has never been on the table in this aspect,” he said. “Concrete measures are needed for this step.”

“It’s a part of the Minsk accords that was not made public but is known to all the participants in the Minsk process,” he said. “Concrete measures are needed for this step and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov outlined these measures speaking to journalists in Basel.”

“Kiev should adopt decrees on amnesty, on guarantees to elected representatives in Donbas and to solve lots of social and economic problems and only then can organization of monitoring on the border be discussed,” Lukashevich said. “The sequence of steps has been determined and we proceed from the fact that these commitments taken by the Ukrainian side should be strictly observed.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it would request that Kiev clarify its position.

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