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Russia Still Doubtful of Ukraine’s Commitment to Reconcile with Southeast

© Sputnik / Valeriy Shustov / Go to the photo bankBuilding of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Building of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Sputnik International
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The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday hailed Kiev’s attempt at defusing tensions in eastern Ukraine with its freshly-minted “memorandum on peace and conciliation,” but said it was still important to follow through on Geneva and OSCE accords.

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday hailed Kiev’s attempt at defusing tensions in eastern Ukraine with its freshly-minted “memorandum on peace and conciliation,” but said it was still important to follow through on Geneva and OSCE accords.

“Despite the obligation to refrain from any violence, threats or provocations, Kiev has not only failed to stop but effectively mounted a more vigorous punitive operation against its own people and went ahead with its nighttime shelling of cities in the country’s east that involved heavy artillery,” a statement posted on the Ministry’s website read.

“Kiev has also forgotten its promise to disarm illegal armed groups, including militants from the Right Sector and other far-right movements, as well as regional strike forces like Dnepr and the controversial National Guard,” the Russian ministry continued.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, ratified a reconciliation memorandum after two months of armed clashes in the country’s eastern Donetsk region.

The Russian foreign office greeted the regime’s decision to sit down at the negotiating table with southeastern activists to seek compromise and nationwide reconciliation, but stressed there had been too many “negative comments on the undertakings so far.”

Russia said many of the steps allegedly to defuse the internal conflict in Ukraine had been made “for the record and without actual participation of regional or political parties.”

In its turn, the Kremlin earlier called Rada’s memorandum “the first distinct though late step in fulfilling the April 17 Geneva Agreements and the OSCE ‘roadmap.”

The document renounced the use of force by all sides, condemned violence, and called for constitutional reforms to decentralize power in the country.

In the run-up to the presidential election this Sunday, federalist and nationalist forces have clashed in several deadly skirmishes in the south and east of the country, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which declared independence after referendums earlier this month.

Pro-federalization activists have accused Kiev of launching special operations involving military helicopters in the regions.

Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the military operation in the southeast of Ukraine, saying it had blocked “any real step to de-escalate the situation in the country."

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