MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her phone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin did not demand Russia scale down its military presence near the Ukrainian border but voiced concerns about this, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Moscow. Kremlin. Putin on Rossiya-1 TV channel.
"No," Peskov said answering a question if Merkel had called on Moscow to scale down its military presence near eastern Ukraine. "Merkel indeed said that Europe is concerned over the concentration of Russian forces near the borders. Yes, she said this and this concern was voiced," Peskov said. The Russian leader gave explanation to this, he stressed.
Moscow sees that the Minsk peace deal is not being implemented in Donbass and Ukraine is stepping up its provocations, Kremlin Spokesman told. "In Donbass there is a situation when the Minsk agreements are not being fulfilled," Peskov stressed. "And there is a situation in Donbass related to the increased activity of provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces."
Now, provocations occur in the region and there is retaliatory fire in response to these provocations, he noted. "Since in general there are tensions and there is no de-escalation, tensions are running high and such provocations could one day ignite the fire of this civil war inside the Ukrainian conflict," Peskov stressed.
"So, we are constantly expressing our concerns," he noted.
Possibility of war
Moscow is not a party to the Ukrainian conflict and won’t accept the possibility of a war against this background, Dmitry Peskov said.
In comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that Russia would not give up Donbass no matter what and whether this could trigger a war, Peskov said: "Of course, no one is going to move towards the war, and no one will accept this possibility of such a war."
"No one will accept the possibility of a civil war in Ukraine either," Peskov said. Meanwhile, Peskov stressed that Russia had never been a party to this conflict.
"But Russia has always said that it would not be indifferent to the fate of the Russian speaking citizens, who are living in the country’s southeast," he pointed out.
The situation in Donbass deteriorated in late February, despite the agreements on extra measures to ensure ceasefire reached on July 22, 2020. Intensive shellings resumed on the disengagement line. Both sides reported casualties, including among the civilian population.