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Russia not responsible for situation in Donbass — Kremlin

Russia is not a party to the conflict, the Kremlin spokesman noted
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Moscow disagrees with Kiev’s claims it is responsible for the situation in Donbass, because it is not a party to the conflict.

"Of, course not," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media when asked if Russia was prepared to bear such responsibility.

"Russia disagrees with the very attempt to interpret the affair this way, because this runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Minsk Accords," he explained. "Russia is not a participant in or party to the conflict. This is stated in the Minsk Accords, and the Minsk Accords bear the signature of Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko."

The Ukrainian parliament on January 18 voted into law Poroshenko’s bill on the aspects of Ukraine’s policy towards the Donetsk and Lugansk regions (Donbass reintegration law). In this document the areas beyond Kiev’s control are described as "temporarily occupied territories" and Russia’s policy, as "aggression against Ukraine." The Ukrainian president is empowered to use the armed forces inside the country without the parliament’s consent for regaining control of territories in the country’s east. For this a special command center of the Ukrainian armed forces is created to control all forces and military-civilian administrations in the area of the conflict. All mentions of the Minsk Accords were removed from the amended wording of the law.

Peskov said that Russia strongly disagrees with the wordings used in the Donbass reintegration law.

"Russia strongly disagrees with this wording," he said. "We believe that its use in this law violates a document, which, I say it again, was signed by President Poroshenko. We regret it," Peskov added.

The Russian presidential spokesman stated that Moscow would "remain committed to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreements along with other guarantor countries - France and Germany." "We still call for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements in order to resolve the Ukrainian crisis but we regret actions such as the adoption of this law, which only move us away from the goal," Peskov concluded.