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Russian diplomat recommends not to trust videos on Russian military presence in Ukraine

January 29, 2015, 20:18 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

Internet videos cannot be regarded as strong proof, says Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

BRUSSELS, January 29 /TASS/. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov has advised European Parliament deputies not to trust Internet videos allegedly showing presence of Russian troops in south-eastern Ukraine.

"As for Internet videos, I would recommend you to be cautious and not to accept everything you see in the Internet at face-value. As far as ‘Russian abuses’ are concerned, I would suggest that these assertions are based on some distinctive marks or uniforms worn by some people who appear in some blogs on the Internet. They cannot be regarded as any strong proof," Chizhov said at a meeting of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Russia on Thursday.

Chizhov stressed that reports about the alleged Russian military presence in Ukraine had been received from various headquarters, including NATO and the Ukrainian president’s administration," the Russian diplomat said adding the figure kept rising as the Ukrainian army was suffering new defeats in the fight against the militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

These reports, Chizhov said, are describing the state of the Russian army as impressive and modernized with new advanced weapons and equipment.

"But let me assure you that the Russian army is not an army of the future which can make its soldiers invisible," the ambassador stressed.

On extended PACE sanctions against Russian delegation

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) made a political settlement in Ukraine more difficult by decision to extend its sanctions on the Russian delegation, Chizhov said commenting on PACE’s decision to extend the sanctions imposed on the Russian delegation last spring and deprive it of its right to vote and participate in the PACE leading bodies until April 2015.

Asked to comment whether PACE had impeded the achievement of a political settlement in Ukraine, Chizhov answered: "Yes." He added the decision was unlikely to make a more constructive contribution, of the Council of Europe in this case, to settling the Ukraine crisis.

"PACE has missed a chance to return the parliamentary dialogue with Russia on a path of normal interaction. It is regretful and damaging not so much to the Russian delegation or the Russian parliament but to the Parliamentary Assembly, which will be deprived until year’s end of an opportunity to hear the Russian point of view and search for a joint solution to problems on the agenda," the Russian diplomat said.

Chizhov said that PACE was just one of the three main components of the Council of Europe. "Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, the head of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, confirmed that the Committee would continue its work and interaction with Russian colleagues in the normal regime," Chizhov stressed.

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