Comment by the Information and Press Department on the situation in Ukraine

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:29

We are worried about reports concerning the continued aggravation of the situation in the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine. Provocative actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, being undertaken with the silent connivance of Kiev’s foreign patrons, have led to the greatest aggravation of tension in Donbass since the March 30, 2018 Easter truce.

The activity of Kiev’s military units in the “grey zone” has caused violent clashes near Gorlovka. People have been killed on both sides, including four peaceful Donetsk residents. The Donetsk water filtering station, a vital infrastructure facility providing drinking water to over 400,000 people on both sides of the demarcation line, is being shelled regularly. On May 21, 2018, Ukrainian saboteurs blew up the bridge on the motorway near the Ivanovka community, according to sources in Lugansk.

In this connection, a working subgroup on security of the Contact Group for Ukraine held an emergency videoconference session on May 23 on the initiative of Donetsk. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian delegation virtually sabotaged the discussion of the specific de-escalation measures, suggested by the OSCE Coordinator, confining itself to chanting political slogans and voicing far-fetched claims based on distorted interpretations of the Minsk Agreements.

This behavior of Kiev’s emissaries once again confirms the fact that Ukrainian authorities aspire to confrontation and aim to undermine political work to resolve the crisis in the country. Talk of Russian aggression and provocations along the demarcation line allow Ukrainian leaders to distract the population from topical domestic matters.

We are urging Kiev to stop harassing Donbass residents for its foreign-policy setbacks and to recall that the road to regional peace lies through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements in direct dialogue with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk.

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