MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - External influence pushed Kiev to decide against extending the ceasefire in southeast Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
“There's an impression that Kiev’s change in position, including its announcement late on June 30 on the non-extension of the ceasefire regime, happened regardless of the position of leading EU members,” the ministerial statement reads, suggesting “external influence” underlay Kiev’s decision.
In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that all parties involved in the conflict need to be focused on the goal of immediately ending bloodshed, stopping gunfire and beginning negotiations.
“Once again we call for an end to using Ukraine as a bargain chip in geopolitical games and stop imposing criminal lines on the forceful pressure of protest performances,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.
Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that the armed forces, national guard, border troops and security service are no longer restrained by the ceasefire regime, thus enforcing his decision against another extension of the ceasefire in east Ukraine.
According to Poroshenko, the move to call off the ceasefire was dictated by the fact that protection of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.
The president’s most recent initiative is inconsistent with his previously voiced intention of crisis-resolution, because the peaceful settlement effort was intended to immediately stop the violence.
Ukraine’s government promised to stick to the implementation of the peace plan, which envisages disarmament, decentralization, unrestricted use of the Russian language and reconstruction of destroyed housing at the government’s expense.
Earlier Tuesday, Russia’s lower house speaker Sergei Naryshkin stated that without a comprehensive ceasefire, peace in Ukraine cannot be restored.