MOSCOW, January 16 /TASS/. Russia hopes that the Contact Group for Ukraine will meet sooner or later, Andrey Kelin, Russia’s Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Friday.
“A new pause has happened in the dialogue. It is unclear for how long it’s going to last. It’s sad,” Kelin added commenting the Ukrainian representatives’ decision to attend a Contact Group meeting in Minsk.
There is every token that Kiev has no intention to enter the negotiations and agree on all aspects of the Minsk accords, Kelin went on to say.
“May be, Kiev cannot summon up courage for talks with militias,” Kelin said.
According to Russia's Ambassador to the organization, monitoring mission of the OSCE in Ukraine continues to be crucial and “the end of its work in March is unlikely as it will probably extend its work beyond March 23.”
“There are no signs of the situation getting better, especially in the military sphere, so the mission will be much in demand,” Kelin said adding “the observers have earned good reputations.”
“The mission has earned a good reputation. Certainly, the sky is the limit but we have got now what we have agreed upon.”
“The mission will increase to 500 observers plus the administrative staff by mid-February,” he said. “It is being equipped with armoured vehicles and special machinery as well as with drones.”
“As the tendency proves, the tensions are not subsiding, all the more so in the military sphere, and the mission will be much in demand there,” the diplomat said. “Besides, a political component of the mission’s activity — to organize the work for opening nationwide dialogue — is in place.”
There is no proof substantiating Kiev’s allegations abouth the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine, Russian permanent representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSC) Andrei Kelin said on Friday.
“7,500 (Russian troops allegedly present in Ukraine) is the figure that is being cited with no references to the source. It was voiced by the Ukrainian ambassador,” the Russian diplomat told the Russia 24 television channel. “I know a different figure, for instance, 700, that has been recently cited by the Americans.”
“But as a matter of fact, there are no Russian military there, not even any traces of them,” he said. “So far, no one has managed to provide a single reliable proof (evidencing the presence of Russian servicemen in eastern Ukraine), despite our direct requests. No proof, no evidence has been received, so there is no point in discussing this matter.”
“Monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine have reported no signs of “aggression,” as Kiev is claiming, from Russia,” Kelin stressed.
Russia has warned against making early conclusions on the death of bus passengers near Volnovakha, a populated locality in the Ukraine-controlled territory of the Donetsk region, before the investigation is over, Andrey Kelin, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE, said.
“There are several hypotheses, and the most important thing is not to rush with early and premature conclusions,” Kelin went on to say.
“It is necessary to remember other tragedies such as the death of children in shelling. People continue dying in Donetsk every day,” Kelin added.
“The OSCE monitors who visited the tragedy site refrained from preliminary conclusions despite being urged on to make them,” the Russian diplomat said.