MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has flatly rejected reports saying that Russia might invade Ukraine in order to gain access to water for Crimea.
“That’s utter nonsense. Much to our regret, this anti-Russian hysteria that is being whipped up in Ukraine in no way helps to resolve the situation in the southeast [of Ukraine],” he told reporters on Monday when asked whether Russia planned to invade southern Ukraine from Crimea to ensure that the peninsula can receive water from the Dnieper.
Peskov emphasized that Director of the Russian Center for Current Politics Alexei Chesnakov who commented on the issue was not a representative of Russia. “Alexei Chesnakov whom I worked with in the Presidential Executive Office for many years was indeed a staff member of the Presidential Executive Office, but now he is not. He is a very talented and knowledgeable Russian expert, but he cannot be deemed a representative of Russia,” the Kremlin spokesman explained.
Peskov also told reporters that he was unaware of the possibility of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) becoming part of Russia.
"As for their practical steps towards becoming part of Russia, I know nothing about it, I don’t have any information," Peskov said, when asked to comment on media reports on the matter.
The Kremlin spokesman pointed out that many residents of the self-proclaimed republics had obtained Russian citizenship. "The decision to provide them with Russian citizenship was made solely for humanitarian reasons, after these people had been abandoned by their own government and were put at risk of being killed," he explained.
According to Peskov, the situation in southeastern Ukraine is still far from resolved. "Russia continues to provide humanitarian aid to the population of the two self-proclaimed republics and it will continue to do that because unfortunately, the situation in southeastern Ukraine is still far from resolved," he noted.
On April 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing Russian citizenship rules for DPR and LPR residents. According to recent data, about 230,000 residents of the Donbass republics have obtained Russian passports under a fast-track procedure.
'Not Russia's fault'
Kremlin notes that the Normandy Four’s failure to make progress in solving the existing problems is not Russia’s fault.
"Indeed, there were contacts at the Normandy Four head of state presidential advisors level, we have already heard statements of the [Deputy Kremlin Administration Head Dmitry] Kozak regarding that no substantial progress was made, and, indeed, we can repeat that the failure to make progress once again was not Russia’s fault," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Monday.
The spokesman underscored that "nobody put forth no ultimatums" to Ukraine on preparation of amendment of its Constitution.
"But it is an obvious fact, unlikely to be denied by anyone, that this work is long overdue and that Ukraine was supposed to fulfill obligations it repeatedly took upon itself," Peskov noted.
On Friday, political advisors of the heads of Normandy Four states (Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine) met in Berlin in an attempt to break the deadlock in the Donbass peace settlement. The talks continued for over 10 hours, but after its conclusion, Kozak said that he dares not speak about a breakthrough. According to the advisor, a difficult and substantial talk on all aspects of the settlement in accordance with the Minsk Accord, took place.