“Of course, any actions that are tied with military preparedness don’t help the process within the Contact Group or the processes in the Normandy Four [negotiations],” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe in Moscow.
Lavrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly highlighted the harmful effects of statements made by Kiev officials advocating an armed conflict.
“In contacts with President Poroshenko, President Putin has constantly emphasized the great malignancy in this sort of accounts, which apparently the so-called War Party in Kiev is conveying,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov also expressed concerns the mobilization undermined the declaration adopted by foreign ministers at a meeting to discuss the Ukrainian crisis in Berlin on Monday held in the Normandy format.
“This will undermine the declaration that the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France agreed to on January 12 in Berlin, in which the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis is the only approach,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov expressed hope that the announcement of mobilization would not lead to a collapse of the peaceful agreements.
“We hope that all of these announcements won’t lead to the collapse [of the agreements] and into an armed conflict,” the Russian diplomat said.
On Wednesday, Poroshenko signed a decree authorizing a three-stage military mobilization in 2015, which would add a total of 104,000 soldiers to the country’s army.
While on Thursday the Ukrainian parliament expanded the upper limit of the age its male citizens could be drafted into the military from 25 to 27. The draft legislation was supported by 256 Verkhovha Rada lawmakers, with 226 votes necessary for its approval.
eements] and into an armed conflict,” the Russian diplomat said.