WASHINGTON, November 4 (RIA Novosti) — The United States has warned Russia of additional costs if Moscow disregards it obligations under the Minsk agreements aimed at negotiating a peace settlement in Ukraine, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council said late on Monday.
“As we have said repeatedly, Russia has a choice. If it supports the peace process and adheres to its Minsk commitments, the costs for Russia’s destabilizing actions against Ukraine will lessen. Should Moscow continue to ignore the commitments that it made in Minsk and continue its destabilizing and dangerous actions, the costs to Russia will rise,” Bernadette Meehan said in a press release.
This came in a statement on Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine, which Washington said contravened Ukraine’s constitution, President Petro Poroshenko’s law on special status for the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk republics, as well as the most basic electoral norms”.
Meehan slammed the vote as “illegitimate” and described independence supporters in eastern Ukraine as Russia’s “Proxies”. She said the elections allegedly violated the terms of the Minsk peace protocol, agreed between Kiev, Moscow and east Ukrainian militias on September 5.
The NSC spokeswoman repeated that the United States “will not recognize the authority of any individuals claiming to represent parts of Donetsk and Luhansk on the basis of this illegal vote.”
She said Washington was concerned about Moscow’s decision to recognize the vote, saying its “continued failure to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements calls into question its commitment to supporting a peaceful resolution to the conflict in parts of eastern Ukraine.”
In the statement, the United States called on Russia to honor the Minsk agreement by withdrawing its troops that the White House says have been crossing into and out of Ukraine. It also said Russia must help the Ukraine government restore control of its sovereignty over the border and see to it that local elections are still held in Donetsk and Luhansk on December 7, as it was initially stipulated by Poroshenko’s “special status” law.
The special status law gave the regions greater autonomy, a right to use any other language than Ukrainian and scheduled local elections for December. But Donetsk and Luhansk leaders said later the regions would vote on another day.
On November 2, the regions voted in the presidential and parliamentary elections that Kiev said it would never recognize. The newly elected authorities and international observers said the vote had run off according to all standards and the results would not be nullified.
Russia said it would recognize the results of the elections in eastern Ukraine since it meant the regions would have their own legitimate representatives at the negotiations with Kiev.
In response to unrest in Ukraine, the West has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Russia beginning in March of this year. Moscow responded with counter-measures taking aim at European imports, particularly agriculture products.