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Kiev has no plans to launch offensive in the east — Ukraine’s foreign minister

November 14, 2014, 14:48 UTC+3 KIEV

According to Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Kiev prefers a political solution but “is ready to fend off any attack if needed.”

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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

KIEV, November 14. /TASS/. Ukraine does not plan to launch an offensive in the country’s east controlled by militias, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in his interview to the German daily Rhenische Post published on Friday.

“No, the talk is about a political decision,” Klimkin said. “A combat operation would lead to sufferings of civilians, of our Ukrainian compatriots.”

Klimkin said a stable truce can not be seen there but the Ukrainian army is not to be blamed.

“We are making attempts to avoid a military confrontation but certainly, both sides should take part in this,” he said adding that Kiev is observing the Minsk accords in an attempt to solve the current crisis by political means.

At the same time, Klimkin assured that the Ukrainian army “is ready to fend off any attack if needed.”

Speaking in favour of sanctions on Russia, Klimkin urged the European Union “on the basis of a common position to pressure Russia in the political sphere.”

“The key to the conflict is in Moscow,” the Ukrainian foreign minister said lauding Western assistance “as very significant” and pledging that Kiev “will do everything possible to be equal to this help.”

“We are willing to carry out deep reforms in the government and the economy so that the money would not go into the sand,” he said.

Along with this, Klimkin said that Kiev “will never stop fighting for Crimea by both political and legal means.”

“Crimea is as Ukrainian as Donetsk and Luhansk,” he said.

Ukraine pulls military hardware to the east

Russia’s Permanent Representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin said on Thursday that Ukraine’s army is pulling military hardware, including artillery and tanks, closer to Donbass (eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions).

“Over the past few days, from November 6 to November 9, we have information about seven cases when army vehicles were pulled to Donbass,” he said, adding these vehicles included tanks, anti-aircraft self-propelled artillery systems Shilka, short-range ballistic missile systems Tochka-U, and multiple launch rocket systems Grad and Smerch.

“What is to be expected from the local self-defense forces? They are reinforcing their positions, since they expect an attack,” he said.

Ukraine has promised not to launch a massive offensive against Donbass, Kelin told TASS on Thursday. “I put that question straight to Ukraine’s representative (at OSCE). I asked him to say honestly whether a massive attack against Donbass can be expected soon. He thought for while and then said that no attack on Donbass was being planned. He gave me his word,” the Russian diplomat said.

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