MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. Russia does not hatch any plans to interfere in the conflict in southeastern Ukraine although the country is closely following the situation and stays ready for concrete measures if necessary, Russian Security Council’s Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the Kommersant daily published on Wednesday.
"No, we are not hatching such plans," he said when asked about a possibility of Moscow’s "open intervention" in the conflict.
"However, we are closely monitoring the situation," the Security Council secretary added. "Concrete measures will be taken based on its development."
Patrushev pointed out that the current escalation in Donbass was "a consequence of serious internal problems in Ukraine, which the authorities are trying to distract attention from."
The Russian security chief said that the Ukrainian leadership "solves their problems at the expense of Donbass, as capitals have long been funneled abroad from the country, the economy keeps going only due to burdensome foreign loans, the debt on which is growing, and those remnants of the industry that have been able to stay afloat are being sold out by Kiev to foreigners, as they say nowadays, at democratic prices."
"Even the famous Ukrainian chernozem [black soil] and timber are being taken abroad on railroad trains, which deprives the country of this asset as well," he added. "And in return [they get] only those cookies that Americans handed out at Maidan."
Tensions escalated in Donbass in late February when incidents of shooting were recorded in the region nearly every day, including with the use of mortars and grenade launchers. The sides, which inked an agreement on additional ceasefire measures last July, traded blame for the rising tensions.
On March 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron via video conferencing. At the talks Putin voiced his concern about the destabilization in Donbass caused by Ukraine.