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Instead of accusing Moscow, Kiev should start implementing Minsk-2 — Russian diplomat

In his words, Kiev’s reluctance to halt the military operation in the east of the country causes the security situation in the entire region to deteriorate

UNITED NATIONS, October 6. /TASS/. Ukraine should stop looking for external enemies and start fulfilling its commitments under the Minsk package of agreements, the Russian delegation’s representative, Denis Lozinsky, told the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

"As far as incessant attempts to accuse us of military interference into the events in southeastern Ukraine are concerned, those who created those rumors have so far failed to provide any convincing evidence of Russia’s military presence there, simply because there have never been any troops," he said.

"Instead of trying to portray Russia as the one responsible for the current dire situation in Ukraine, Kiev should start solving the problems that had accumulated in the country," he continued. "So far, actions (continued shelling of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk by the armed forces of Ukraine) as well as inaction (failure to honor the July 22, 2020 agreement on ceasefire control measures and the February 12, 2015 Minsk Package of Measures) cause irreparable loss and immense suffering of civilians, including children."

In his words, Kiev’s reluctance to halt the military operation in the east of the country causes the security situation in the entire region to deteriorate.

"Instead of building a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, enacting the law about their special status, adopting constitutional amendments and amnesty laws, holding local elections, the authorities of Ukraine take measures that make the already stalled situation in the negotiation process even worse," the diplomat added.

The Russian side calls upon the Ukrainian government "to fully realize the negative consequences for the civilian population and facilities, which emerge when they turn a blind eye to warmongering aspirations of the Ukrainian military and armed nationalist groups."

"Instead, we see constant attempts to make Ukrainians take the false path of finding ‘enemies’ in neighboring countries and among brotherly peoples," he said. "This only makes the disagreement between the UN member states and the Ukrainians themselves even worse."

Crimea and Budapest memorandum

Russia has never undertaken a commitment to force a Ukrainian region to remain a part of the country against the will of the local population, the Russian delegation’s representative said.

According to the diplomat, any attempts to accuse Russia of violating the December 5, 1994 Budapest Memorandum on security guarantees to Ukraine are "absolutely baseless," and nothing but "manifestation of the anti-Russian propaganda."

"Provisions of this document do not apply to circumstances caused by domestic political, social or economic factors," he said. "Russia has never undertaken a commitment to force a part of Ukraine to remain a part of it contrary to the will of the local population."

"Facing the rampage of radical nationalists in Ukraine, in the situation when a violent coup took place with the support of outside forces, residents of Crimea and Sevastopol exercised their right for self-determination and subsequently reunited with Russia, which became the only possible way for them to protect their vital interests," Lozinsky said.

After disintegration of the then Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited the third biggest nuclear arsenal after the US and Russia. In December 1994, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the US and the UK signed the so-called Budapest Memorandum, giving security guarantees in connection with Kiev’s joining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Under the agreement, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons, while Russia, the US and the UK gave security assurances to Ukraine.

After a government coup in Ukraine in February 2014, the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol made a decision to hold a referendum on reunification with Russia. In the voting held on March 16, more than 80% of those eligible to cast their ballots took part. The unification with Russia was supported by 96.7% and 95.6% in Crimea and Sevastopol respectively. On March 18, the Russian president signed a treaty on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. On March 21, the treaty was ratified by the Federal Assembly. In defiance of the indisputable results of the referendum Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.