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Kiev govt pressing forward with expansion of conflict in eastern Ukraine - diplomat

January 17, 2015, 1:14 UTC+3 VIENNA
“There’s a grave risk of deterioration of the events, since we can see quite a few signs of Kiev’s pressing forward with a forcible solution of the problem,” he said
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© Aleksandr Khudoteplyy / TASS

VIENNA, January 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian authorities are pressing forward with a forcible solution of the conflict in the country’s much-troubled eastern regions, Andrei Kelin, Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) told TASS on Friday.

“There’s a grave risk of deterioration of the events, since we can see quite a few signs of Kiev’s pressing forward with a forcible solution of the problem,” he said.

Testimony to this is found in the actions the Ukrainian authorities have taken in the past few days. “Rotation of the military contingent is in full swing, as is the fourth wave of drafting to the Armed Forces, and the government has promise it will be followed by a fifth and sixth wave,” Kelin said.

Also, the authorities have endorsed a huge military budget.

Another round of talks in the format of the Contact Group for settling the crisis in Ukraine broke down in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Friday. It was to be attended by representatives of the Kiev government, the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Russia, and the OSCE but the Ukrainian delegation failed to turn up in Minsk.

A source close to consultations told TASS the sides did not manage to coordinate the agenda as a result. “Also, the events around Donetsk airport obviously affected the situation, too.”

At the time of reporting, there was no information about a possible new date for the talks, and the source said a long and tense pause in the Minsk consultations was very likely in the cards.

Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the plenipotentiary representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics at the talks, left Minsk after it was clear representatives of the Kiev government had not arrived.

“We waited until the very last moment that someone of them would come and we didn’t have any doubts that the OSCE had issued invitations but nothing happened,” Deinego said while leaving Minsk.

Pushilin and Deinego said they were ready to take part in consultations within the framework of the group in the future but said they would hold meetings only with Kiev’s plenipotentiary representatives.

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