UNITED NATIONS, January 27. /TASS/. The aggravation of the situation in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbas region “was the result of Kiev’s consistent evasion of direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk on the practical implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Monday.
The diplomat told a meeting of the UN Security Council that “over the whole period since September last year” the Ukrainian leadership has been taking steps “to strengthen its military positions in the south-east.” “Kiev has been preparing for war all this time, without even hiding it,” said the Russian ambassador to the UN.
He said that “everything could have gone differently had the Minsk memorandum on a ceasefire and heavy weapons’ withdrawal, including the handover of Donetsk airport to people’s self-defense militia been timely implemented.” “A new round of confrontation could have been avoided had Ukrainian authorities accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal of January 15 to conduct an immediate withdrawal of heavy weapons,” the diplomat said in response to another series of accusations against Russia and militias in the east of Ukraine, voiced by the US ambassador to UN, Samantha Power.
She said, “The targets are fresh ones, but Russia’s end goal remains the same: to seize more territory and move the line of Russian-controlled territory deeper and deeper into Ukraine.”
At a meeting of the UN Security Council last Wednesday, the American diplomat stated, in particular: “The plan [proposed by Putin] would seek to legitimise territorial gains made by separatists in September as well as Russian personnel and equipment on the territory of Ukraine.”
“Let us pull the veil away from Putin’s peace plan and call it for what it is — a Russian occupation plan,” she said during a special session of the 15-member body on Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation Yury Sergeyev also voiced the “ritual” accusations against Moscow at the UN Security Council meeting. Diplomats of the UK, France and other countries also called on Russia to stop supporting the separatist militias.