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Lavrov castigates West for narrowing down relations with Russia to Donbass crisis

Russian Foreign Minister stressed that disengagement of forces in Donbass must be done by both sides

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. It is unbecoming of the Western states to seek to reduce relations with Russia solely to the situation in Donbass, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

"The fact that they are seeking to reduce the entire geopolitical spectrum to Ukraine calling on us to withdraw this or that DPR or LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) battalion so that they have a possibility to begin sanction lifting is unbecoming of the people who occupy such high positions and afford to say such things," he said.

He stressed that disengagement of forces in Donbass must be done by both sides. "We are not against withdrawal of weapons by all, we are not a ceasefire but it must be done not only by the DPR and LPR but by the Ukrainian army as well," he stressed.

According to the Russian top diplomat, Ukraine’s army command cannot control a number of armed groups, such as the notorious Azov battalion. "An example to that is the blockade (of Donbass) declared by radicals and condemned by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko," Lavrov noted. "We publicly vowed to lift the blockade as running counter to the Minsk agreements. He even sent some forces to do that but failed. After that, he opted to do a 180 to issue his decree legalizing this blockade.".