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Kiev's ex-deputy chief of paramilitary battalion turned lawmaker vows to defy Minsk deal

Former deputy commander of the Azov paramilitary battalion considers the Minsk accords an act of treason betraying national interests
 Servicemen of Azov battalion EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA
Servicemen of Azov battalion

KIEV, February 13. /TASS/. A former deputy commander of the Azov paramilitary battalion, which remains beyond the control of the central command in Kiev, currently holding a seat in the Ukrainian parliament has vowed to defy the Minsk Accords.

Igor Moseichuk said on his page in Facebook he would exert the maximum efforts to upset the implementation of these agreements in parliament.

"That’s an act of treason. Betrayal of national interests. This is the sole way of describing the text regarding the implementation of the Minsk Accords that Leonid Kuchma signed with the Donetsk and Luhansk republics on behalf of Ukraine," says the radically-minded legislator.

"That arrangement envisages elections in the territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that would let the self-proclaimed republics’ representatives come to power in a legitimate way," he argues.

Earlier, Moseichuk held the position of a deputy commander of the Azov battalion for public relations. Since November 2014 he has been a member of the Ukrainian parliament from the Radical Party. In the media, he earned notoriety for shooting at the portrait of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov in public.

At the moment the battalion Azov is based in Mariupol. Over recent days it has tried to attack the militias’ positions near the village of Shirokino. Taking part in the military operation in Donbass are quite a few detachments not subordinate to the authorities in Kiev, such as Right Sector detachments and the battalion Aidar.

As Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrey Kelin said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Friday at the moment there can be no certainty the paramilitaries on the big business tycoons’ payroll would support a peace settlement in Ukraine. "How can one guarantee the armed groups not subordinate to the central command in Kiev will agree to obey anything?" he asked. "In fact, they are the armed groups mentioned in the Minsk Accords. There is no certainty that they will support a peace, diplomatic settlement, the way we did," Kelin said. "They must be disarmed and pulled out of the zone of the conflict.".