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    A Ukrainian serviceman patrols at the humanitarian aid center in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017

    'Blatant Sabotage of Minsk Deal by Kiev' the Only Reason of Ongoing Donbass War

    © AP Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka
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    The only reason for the absence of progress in Ukrainian peace process is Kiev's "blatant sabotage of the Minsk agreements", the Russian upper house of parliament speaker said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kiev blatantly sabotages the implementation of the Minsk agreements on reconciliation in Donbass and shows to its western partners its resolve to achieve a military resolution to the crisis, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation (Russian upper house of parliament) Valentina Matvienko told Sputnik.

    "There is no progress on the Donbass reconciliation. There is only one reason for this – blatant sabotage of the Minsk agreements implementation by Kiev. Sabotage, I would say, is absolute, beginning with the ceasefire agreements, withdrawal of heavy [military] equipment and finishing with the political articles of agreements," she said.

    According to the Russian official, the situation in Donbass is deteriorating, while Kiev is using bellicose rhetoric more and more frequently.

    "It is absolutely evident that the Ukrainian authorities do not intend to work for a peaceful resolution of the conflict on the basis of unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements. I do not think that Kiev understands the consequences of its steps. It is probably intentionally demonstrating to Ukraine’s western partners its readiness to achieve the military resolution to the problem," Matvienko stressed.

    In her opinion, Kiev is also sending a signal to the West that it is still counting on its support.

    "The calculation has a basis. Until now, Kiev was getting away with anything," Matvienko said.

    According to the chairperson, such a position of the Ukrainian authorities should not be left without the reaction of the European Union and the West in general.

    "We hope that our colleagues in their work with the government of Ukraine will increase pressure on Kiev, seeking a strict implementation of the Minsk agreements from it," Matvienko stressed.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.


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    Minsk agreements, Ukrainian crisis, Valentina Matvienko, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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