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Moscow concerned over Kiev military preparations

Moscow hopes common sense will prevail and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will not yield to attempts of the so-called "party of war" to disrupt the peace process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

Certainly, military preparations do not help in efforts of the Contact Group and the Normandy Quartet for peaceful settlement in Ukraine, Lavrov said. Russia expresses concern in this connection to Western partners, the OSCE and Ukrainian leaders. Russian President Vladimir Putin, when speaking to Poroshenko, repeatedly warned against military plans of "Kiev's party of war", the minister said.

"It is a wrong position. It undermines the spirit and the letter of the Minsk agreements. It undermines the declaration made by the foreign ministers of the Normandy Quartet in Berlin on January 12 on peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian minister said.

Moscow hopes that all the statements and announcements (of Ukrainian authorities) will not disrupt the peace process and will not lead to armed confrontation again.

"We are assured that all this mobilization is needed only to give a rest to those who will be replaced, but there is other information that units of the Ukrainian armed forces are replaced by fighters of so-called volunteer battalions, which nobody knows to whom subordinate and have very bad reputation for violating discipline," the minister said.

"All this alarms us. I hope common sense will prevail in Kiev, and President Poroshenko will not yield to attempts of "the party of war" to break the Minsk agreements", Lavrov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 16Jan15]

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