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Russia alarmed by reports of intensive shelling in Donbass, Lavrov says

"I would like to highlight the fact that the Kiev regime has been blatantly violating its obligations for several years and every time when additional measures to ensure a ceasefire are coordinated, it sabotages them," the Russian top diplomat said

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The reports of a sharp increase in shelling in Donbass using armaments banned by the Minsk Accords cause alarm in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias on Friday.

"As for the situation at the line of engagement in Donbass, we are very alarmed by the reports in the recent days, literally yesterday and the day before yesterday, of a sharp increase in shelling using the weapons that are prohibited by the Minsk Accords. In relation to this, I would like to highlight the fact that the Kiev regime has been blatantly violating its obligations for several years and every time when additional measures to ensure a ceasefire are coordinated, it sabotages them," the Russian top diplomat said.

The Russian top diplomat noted that the special role in the observance of all agreements in accordance with the Minsk Accords belongs to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that tried to act objectively at the early stages of its operation yet later in its reports "strived to camouflage the actual events."

Currently, according to the Russian Foreign Minister, when the SMM covers the events of the past several days, Russia notices again that the mission "is doing so in a depersonalized way, simply noting the large number of bombardments, the large scale of destruction without indicating who is involved in the main bombardments and where is the majority of destruction."

He noted that Russia will insist that specific information on these actions is regularly submitted to OSCE members, adding that "so far, we see that the SMM is in every way trying to gloss over those issues that point to the culpability of Ukraine’s armed forces.".