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    Russia's Influence on Self-defense Forces Should Not Be Overestimated - Kremlin

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    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reminded that Russia is not a party to the conflict in the east of Ukraine and its influence on self-defense forces should not be overestimated.

    MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reminded that Russia is not a party to the conflict in the east of Ukraine and its influence on self-defense forces should not be overestimated.

    “Russia is not a party to the confrontation, it’s an internal Ukrainian conflict. And Moscow can’t tell self-defense forces what to do and how to do it. It can appeal to self-defense forces and use its existing influence,” Peskov said answering a question from Kommersant newspaper whether Moscow will pressure the authorities of self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk to comply with ceasefire.

    According to Peskov, “Russia’s influence on self-defense forces shouldn’t be overestimated.”

    Later Ukraine’s President Poroshenko announced that he decided not to extend the ceasefire in the east of the country, which expired on Monday night, blaming the independence supporters for not complying with its terms.

    Poroshenko first declared a week-long ceasefire on June 20 and later extended it for three more days to implement the measures to de-escalate the crisis requested by the EU.

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