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Russia slams Kiev’s initiative on peacekeepers as attempt not to implement Minsk deal

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Ukrainian authorities are trying once again "to renege on meeting their own commitments"

MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Kiev’s call to send an armed UN peacekeeping contingent to Ukraine’s southeast is another attempt to avoid the Minsk deal implementation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.

"The initiatives voiced by the Kiev regime representatives are evident attempts to once again wind up the process of implementing the Minsk 2 and renege on meeting their own commitments," Zakharova said.

The diplomat noted that the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe should deal with settling the Ukrainian crisis along with members of the Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) and the Contact Group. "Members of this mission actively work in various areas, in different Ukrainian regions, including Donbass," she said.

"The OSCE SMM monitors the situation on the contact line and controls, and also verifies the withdrawal of armaments, the disengagement of forces and means of the conflicting parties," Zakharova said.

Zakharova stressed that the parties to the Ukrainian conflict - Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk - and also various international structures and countries engaged in the settlement acknowledge that the February 2015 Minsk deal is the groundwork of the process. "That’s why the key task now is the conscientious, consistent and full implementation of those points included in the Package of Measures," she said.

The diplomat stressed that the document that had been drawn up with Kiev’s participation does not mention any UN blue helmets and armed monitors of the OSCE.