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Moscow to support political process in eastern Ukraine after weaponry pullout

January 21, 2015, 14:52 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister once again disproved allegations of eastern Ukraine militias receiving weapons from Russia

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. After the withdrawal of heavy weaponry it will be necessary to develop political life in the south-east of Ukraine, including by way of holding municipal elections, and Russia will support this process, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday at a news conference on the results of 2014.

“I hope that very soon it will make no difference who where moves the separation line because it will be necessary to develop both the economic life and political process. Municipal elections should be held and we will support them,” he said, answering a question put by a Ukrainian reporter.

“There is the ground here for reaching an agreement between Ukrainian authorities and the leadership of the south-eastern regions,” Lavrov said.

The minister also clarified to the Ukrainian media representative a number of other issues related to the situation around the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), once again disproving allegations that the militias are receiving weapons from Russia and violate the Minsk agreements.

“Ukraine has never had any weapons except Soviet and Russian,” he said. “Although some of your neighbours from the NATO and EU member countries have recently begun the supplies. We believe that such supplies to a conflict zone contradict the EU and OSCE regulations.”

Responding to a Ukrainian reporter’s question if Russia would accept any evidence of alleged supplies of its hardware [to Ukraine], Lavrov said, “if they want to talks seriously, material objects, nothing more, will be accepted as evidence.”

“But what evidence do we need for what is happening with civilians in Donbas?” he asked the reporter. “It seems that no dispute over this is possible, but all the same they are arguing, saying that “the terrorists are shelling themselves.”

“As for the airport, the closed appendixes to the Minsk agreements should have been published,” Lavrov said. “But somebody, I don’t know why, is unwilling to do this. We are not advocates of secret diplomacy. We want people to know the truth: to whom the airport belongs, who controls it at the given moment, if this is right and if a relative agreement had been reached.”

“The Joint Coordination and Control Centre (JCCC), created at the request of [Ukrainian] President Poroshenko should work on these issues,” Lavrov said.

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