KIEV, January 19. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed on Monday a decree on partial mobilization that has been endorsed by the national parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.
The Rada on January 15 approved Poroshenko’s decree on another phase of partial mobilization. The president signed this decree on January 14. The Ukrainian head of state said that new recruits would not be sent to the military operation zone in the east of the country.
According to the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s decision of December 20, 2014, the fourth phase of mobilization will be launched on January 20 and another two phases will be held in April and June. Some categories of draft-age persons, in particular, citizens unfit for military service, students and postgraduates, clergy, parents of three and more children, residents of territories not controlled by Ukrainian authorities will be exempt from mobilisation.
On January 8, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that some 104,000 people might be mobilized in 2015, if necessary. Ukrainian General Staff spokesman Vladimir Talalai said that women aged 25 through 50 might be drafted into the army, if necessary.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on January 16 that Moscow hopes common sense would prevail and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko would not yield to attempts of the so-called “party of war” to disrupt the peace process.
“Certainly, any actions linked with military preparations do not help either the efforts of the Contact Group [on Ukrainian crisis settlement] and the processes within Normandy Quartet for peaceful settlement in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. “Russia expresses concern in this connection to Western partners, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Ukraine’s leadership. Russian President Vladimir Putin, when speaking to Poroshenko, has repeatedly warned against military plans of “Kiev's party of war,” the minister said.
“This position is wrong. It undermines the spirit and the letter of the Minsk agreements. It also undermines the declaration made by the foreign ministers of the Normandy Quartet in Berlin on January 12 on peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,” the Russian minister said.
Moscow hopes that all the statements and announcements (of Ukrainian authorities) will not disrupt the peace process and will not lead to armed confrontation again, he said.
“We are assured that all this mobilization is needed only to give a rest to those who will be replaced, but there is other information that units of the Ukrainian armed forces are replaced by fighters of so-called volunteer battalions,” the minister said.
“All this alarms us. I hope common sense will prevail in Kiev, and President Poroshenko will not yield to attempts of “the party of war” to break the Minsk agreements”, Lavrov said.