MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. NATO eagerly plays along official Kiev its attempts to paint Russia as a culprit in the internal conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview for TASS Wednesday.
"All recent statements of the Ukrainian authorities aim at only one thing: to present the war they carry out against their own people in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Donbass, as a conflict with Russia. Therefore, all statements they make, all calls on NATO to defend them are aimed only at this," he said. "Unfortunately, we see that NATO eagerly plays along, because the Alliance declared Russia the main threat and, instead of being actually concerned over the situation caused by the non-implementation of the Minsk Agreements, they eagerly play along Kiev authorities in these attempts to paint Russia as the culprit of their internal conflict. Therefore, all these political statements must be viewed from this angle specifically."
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Western states turn a blind eye to Ukraine’s preparations in Donbass. He warned that those who seek to start a new war in Donbass can destroy Ukraine, and expressed his hope that the West, led by the US, will not nudge Kiev towards a military venture.
The situation in Donbass escalated in late February. Shootouts, including with the use of mortars and grenade launchers, were registered in the region almost every day. Both Kiev and Donbass accused each other of the escalation.