BRUSSELS, March 12. /TASS/. Russia has warned NATO members and partner states about the dangers of supplying weapons to Ukraine which "create an illusion of the possibility of resolving the conflict by military means", Russia's envoy to NATO said on Thursday.
"We have pointed to the danger of supplying weapons to Ukraine and providing military assistance," envoy Alexander Grushko said after a 50-nation meeting at NATO headquarters on Thursday evening, adding that this "violates" the Ukraine peace deal agreed by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in Minsk last month and "only creates an illusion about the possibility of resolving the crisis by military means".
The conflict in Ukraine and the one-year anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia were high on the agenda at the meeting of ambassadors from the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, a forum that includes the 28 NATO allies and 22 other countries from Europe and central Asia.
On February 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, held marathon talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, seeking to reach political settlement in the future of eastern Ukraine.
The deal, announced after more than 16 hours of discussions, called for a ceasefire between Ukraine’s government forces and people’s militias starting on February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and the release of prisoners. Based on September’s stillborn Minsk peace agreement, the deal also laid out a road map for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give the war-torn eastern regions more autonomy.