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Russia to give proportionate response if Kiev invades DPR, LPR - parliament speaker

Speaking about moods in the Russian society, Valentina Matviyenko said that Russians "don’t want a war, be it Ukraine or anyone else."

​​​​​​​MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russia will not stand aside if Kiev invades the territories of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) and will give a proportionate response, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Wednesday.

"The unrecognized republics are home to many thousands of Russian citizens. Clearly, we will not fail them in times of trouble, we will defend them. We will do everything we need to protect them. Naturally, our response will be proportionate to the aggression," the speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper house said in an interview with Russia’s Parlamentskaya Gazeta.

Speaking about moods in the Russian society, she said that Russians "don’t want a war, be it Ukraine or anyone else."

In her words, the people of Ukraine made their choice 30 years ago, and Russia respects it. According to Matviyenko, only the people of Ukraine can decide "what they should do, how they should live, what parties and politicians should be entrusted with deciding the country’s future."

"Ukraine is obviously at a crossroads, no doubts about that. That is why it should be perfectly aware of consequences that its next move would entail," the Russian senator said.

In Matviyenko’s opinion, true development of Ukraine would be impossible without strict implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"It would be the first step, the starting point. Otherwise, the country would be doomed to live in its current state: with a burden of confrontation with Russia, hit by internal conflict, with weak state institutions that are unable to properly govern the country," she added.