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Russian envoy says upsurge of Kiev’s military costs is alarm signal

The amendments set one thinking of the priorities of the acting Ukrainian government, Boris Gryzlov said

MINSK, August 2. /TASS/. Upsurge of Kiev’s military costs instead of Donbass’ restoration stirs alarm, Russia’s Plenipotentiary Envoy in the Contact Group on the Settlement in Eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said on Wednesday.

"The signing of budget amendments on increase of military costs by the Ukrainian president yesterday is an alarm signal," he said after the Minsk meeting.

"Firstly, as far as I know, the amendments stipulate allocations for armaments of not a defense type only," Gryzlov added. "Secondly, the amendments set one thinking of the priorities of the acting Ukrainian government. Instead of funding the restoration of infrastructure and economic life for people who suffered from the fights in the regions, at least those controlled by Ukraine’s authorities, it is planned to increase capacities for ammunition, tanks and missiles production."

Speaking about the meeting’s agenda, the Russian plenipotentiary envoy reported that the Contact Group had tried to at least minimally repair economic relations in Donbass on Wednesday. He reiterated that half a year ago, on January 25, 2017, extremists started the blockade of several Donbass districts by closing the Lugansk-Popgasnaya railway line. "As we know, Ukraine’s current authorities later joined these illegal actions that violate the Minsk Accords and are totally harmful for some Donbass regions," Gryzlov noted.

Gryzlov called on the global community to recognize the fact that Donbass’ blockade violates the Minsk Accords. "I believe that the OSCE and other European structures and politicians have become aware enough of the level of responsibility held by the Ukrainian authorities for these actions. These events [the blockade] actually ended interaction between enterprises divided by the boundary line and led to the necessity of external management of Donbass’ backbone enterprises," he said. "Instead of recognizing the erroneousness of the blockade, the Ukrainian side cut off electric energy supplies to certain districts of the Donetsk Region at 00:00, July 26."

"Today’s work of the economic subgroup is an attempt to restore bit by bit at least in the minimal amount and improve economic cooperation between the conflicting parties [in Donbass] set out in the Minsk Accords for the sake of the people living near the conflict zone," Gryzlov concluded.