TASHKENT, September 20. /TASS/. Moscow does not rule out that Kiev may quit the Minsk deal, but such a decision will prolong the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told the media on the sidelines of the conference entitled Russia and Uzbekistan in the Face of Development and Security Challenges at a New Historical Stage of Interaction.
"I would prefer to avoid speculations about various scenarios. Everything is possible, including a pullout from the Minsk Accords. However, we believe that this is a road leading to nowhere. It will aggravate the conflict and prolong it for many years," he said, when asked about the likely implications of Ukraine' walkout from the Minsk deal.
Rudenko warned that Ukraine's military buildup and massive support from the West by no means contributed to a peace settlement of the conflict in the east of the country.
"We are aware of these military preparations and about the assistance that Kiev is getting from the United States and other countries. As long as the current leadership in Kiev remains unchanged, nothing can be ruled out. We take all these things into account in the process of our own military planning. We hope that common sense will prevail in Kiev. Hopefully, it will not come to a military scenario, including the situation in Donbass," he concluded.
A yet-to-be achieved peace settlement in Donbass rests upon the Minsk Accords, envisaging ceasefire, pullout of weapons, amnesty, resumption of economic ties and a fundamental constitutional reform in Ukraine on the basis of a dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics with the aim of decentralization of power in accordance with the special status of certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
However, the negotiating process is in fact stalled due to Ukraine's refusal to comply with the "political clauses" of the Minsk deal. For one, Kiev refuses to conduct a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. It remains opposed to including in the Constitution the region's special status and demands it should be allowed to establish control of Donbass's border with Russia before the political part of the agreements has been implemented. In the meantime, under item nine of the package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Accords, restoration of the full control of the state border is to begin the next day after local elections and be completed only after a comprehensive political settlement.