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Russia does not want to get into Ukraine civil conflict — top security official

June 22, 2015, 8:43 UTC+3
Russia does not encourage its nationals to go to Donbas to fight there, Russian Security Council Secretary said
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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Russia does not want to get into the civil conflict in Ukraine but can’t hinder an inflow of Russians to east Ukrainian militia, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

"We are ready to render and are rendering support to Ukrainian refugees - who by the way are not accepted in the European Union or the United States - but it is not expedient to get involved in the civil conflict," Patrushev said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily published Monday.

Asked why Russia hinders the dispatch of Russians to the Islamic State but does not prevent them from entering the ranks of militia in Donbas, he said: "The IS is a terrorist group, and everyone admits it. There are no terrorist groups in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Everything can be solved without a civil war if the Minsk Agreements are adhered to. But they are not being implemented."

Patrushev said Russia does not encourage its nationals to go to Donbas to fight there.

"But it is impossible to really prevent them from doing so. 2 million of refugees from Ukraine have come to Russia for a reason - they have relatives and friends here. They tell them about the atrocities that take place there. And then emotions come into action: people go there and take part [in hostilities]," he said.

The Russian Security Council secretary said Russia can’t close the border with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR).

"We can’t close the border. We actually feed the population of Donbas, they have very complicated conditions for life there. Although the Minsk Agreements say Ukrainians themselves should contribute to normalization of the social-economic situation in Luhansk and Donetsk. But they are not doing that!" he said.

Patrushev said Russia has done everything required for implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

"You just need to fulfill what is written in the documents. We don’t understand why Ukraine is persisting… There would be no trouble for them if they were implementing these deals. But they do not want to sit down to the negotiating table with representatives of militia from Donetsk and Luhansk. However, this is necessary," he concluded.

A coup occurred in Ukraine in February 2014. Mass protests soon erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with local militias during Kiev’s military operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories - the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. The clashes have killed thousands.

On September 19, 2014, the Trilateral Contact Group on settlement in east Ukraine comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted a memorandum in Minsk to outline the parameters for the implementation of commitments on a ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the 12-point Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.

The Contact Group’s meetings in December 2014 and January 2015 were nearly fruitless. The Group held regular talks in Minsk on February 10-12, 2015, signing a 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures (Minsk-2) included cessation of fire from February 15, 2015, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement in Ukraine, in particular establishment of working subgroups.

The subgroups focus on four areas: economic issues and restoration of facilities; refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance; political issues; security issues.

The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated by Ukrainian troops.

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