MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. Kiev will consider Europe’s silent position as carte blanche for a military operation in Donbass and restoring territorial integrity by force, Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday, commenting on a joint statement by the top French and German diplomats on Donbass.
Early on Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Heiko Maas voiced concerns over the deteriorating situation on the contact line in Donbass and expressed support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to the communique, the countries carefully monitor the situation, in particular the Russian troop movement and call for restraint and immediately defusing tensions.
"As a matter of fact, Ukraine’s territorial integrity (except for Crimea) is a common approach of all Normandy format’s parties. The question is how to achieve this. As long as the West is mum, Kiev will consider this position of silence as carte blanche for a military operation and for restoring territorial integrity by force. Russia says there must be no force, but only a direct dialogue between the conflicting states. The statement of the two ministers does not include this, and in this sense it has no added value and only adds oil to the flame of the conflict," Kosachev wrote on this Facebook page.
The senator recalled that a child was killed on Saturday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic by the shelling carried out by the Kiev forces using a drone. However, this was not mentioned in the communique. "Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR was conducted and a six-year-old child died. But there is no word about this," the senator said, noting that instead the West accused Russia of the troop movement.
According to Kosachev, the tragedy in southeastern Ukraine could have been prevented back in 2014 if Europe had refused to accept the coup d’etat in Ukraine or had demanded the new authorities "fully observe common European values in regard to its citizens."
Since July 27, 2020, the Contact Group on ironing out the situation in eastern Ukraine introduced additional measures to control the ceasefire in Donbass. Under the agreement, the Donbass conflicting parties are banned from carrying out offensive and reconnaissance operations, using any types of aircraft, opening fire and deploying heavy weapons in populated localities. One of the key provisions is the use of disciplinary measures for ceasefire violations. Furthermore, the backfire in the case of an offensive is allowed only after the commander's direct order.
The situation in Donbass deteriorated in late February, when shellings were recorded in the regions nearly every day, including with the use of mortars and grenade launchers. The sides traded blame for the deterioration. On Saturday, the DPR’s mission to the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination announced that the Ukrainian forces had shelled the Donetsk republic’s soil eight times.