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Russia calls on Kiev to immediately stop armed provocations in Donbass

Russia calls on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop armed provocations in Donbass, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday over the recent aggravation of the situation in eastern Ukraine.

"We call on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop armed provocations in Donbass, to observe the current ceasefire agreements and finally begin to duly implement all provisions of the Package of Measures, including those that concern political aspects of the current problems," the ministry said.

By making provocations in Donbass, Kiev is trying to keep the Ukrainian crisis on the global agenda, according to the Foreign Ministry.

"A strange pattern cannot but attract attention," the statement reads. "Whenever tensions in Donbass grow, the Ukrainian leaders happen to be making foreign visits. It seems, they try to keep the Kiev-initiated crisis on the global agenda."

Moscow urges West to make Kiev give up attempts at revanche in Donbass

Moscow hopes that Ukraine's partners will force Kiev to give up attempts at achieving a military revanche in Donbass that would be tantamount to discarding the Minsk Accords, according to the statement.

"We expect that Ukraine's partners will exert the proper influence on Kiev to make it give up attempts at a military revanche in Donbass, tantamount to discarding the Minsk Accords," the Foreign Ministry said. "We expect prompt steps by the OSCE's special monitoring mission in Ukraine that would bring about quick de-escalation of tensions."

"The situation in Donbass has seriously aggravated in the recent days, with Ukrainian troops continuing offensive attempts at the positions of militias [of the self-proclaimed republics], including in Donetsk's suburbs," the ministry said. "Heavy weapons, including large-caliber artillery and multiple missile launcher systems, are extensively used to shell residential quarters. Under the Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, such weapons are to have long been pulled out from the contact line."

There are casualties among civilians, the ministry noted. "As a result of shelling by Ukrainian troops, the Donetsk water filtering station and the Avdeyevka coking plant have been cut off electricity supplies. There is a danger to the lives of coal miners working at mines," the document said.

Southeastern Ukraine on the brink of catastrophe

"Southeastern Ukraine, which has been suffering from Kiev's economic blockade, is again on the brink of a humanitarian and ecological disaster," the ministry noted.

"All of this is direct consequence of Ukraine's ongoing violations of its liabilities under the Minsk agreements. Kiev seems to be unwilling to implement any. Instead of taking efforts towards lasting peace, the Ukrainian authorities are stubbornly seeking to solve the conflict by military means. We would like to remind them how such military adventures used to end," the ministry said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 31Jan17]

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