MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - The previously implemented ceasefire agreement in Ukraine may once again be shattered as certain forces are interested in such outcome, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
"At present, according to our estimations and in the opinion of the OSCE observers, the ceasefire is generally observed, although not without disruptions, which have been minor so far. Both sides occasionally engage in sporadic shooting, but the process of establishing a long-term ceasefire has not yet been disrupted," the minister said in an interview with Russian TVC channel.
"I deliberately do not intent to speak about it in a too optimistic manner because there are people who want to derail the process and bring the situation back to the military scenario,"Lavrov said.
"First of all, these are the units formed by the oligarchs which are not subject to Kiev and that consider the armed forces of Ukraine as temporary allies, fellow travelers. It is also a significant part of the National Guard [which is interested in the disruption of ceasefire],” Lavrov said.
Kiev’s interpretation of the Ukraine ceasefire agreements is controversial, but Moscow hopes that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will confirm his commitment to peace, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“In what concerns Kiev’s interpretations of the [Minsk] agreements, we hear a lot of controversial interpretations, even demands of rejecting peaceful steps and switching back to offense action using the entire arsenal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian TVC channel.
The foreign minister stressed, however, that Poroshenko regularly reaffirms his commitment to the peace agreements.
“We still expect that, as the embodiment of a certain legitimacy, formed after the May 25 presidential elections, he will perform his functions of the commander-in-chief, take all the measures necessary and use his presidential powers so that the government, which is currently operating in Kiev and is subject to the rule of the president and parliament, does not undermine the sanctioned decision he approved,” Lavrov said.
Observing the ceasefire is the most important clause of the agreement reached between Kiev and pro-independence forces in Minsk, and the only one obligatory for immediate implementation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday in an interview to Russia's TVC channel.
"As for the document's content, it is really of a framework character and, for the most part, is not subject to direct realization, except for the ceasefire paragraph. This is clear, this can be done and it is being done," Russian foreign minister said.
However, the other clauses of the agreement, particularly, the law on temporary self-government of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, require further specification, Lavrov stressed.
"We do not know what it would be like – this is a responsibility of Ukraine. But when the self-defense forces were signing this clause, they made it clear that they would form their attitude toward it depending on its content, … acting on the premises of that it is not the end of the way, but a beginning of a very complex political process," the head of Russian foreign ministry said, noting that the "set of values" in Western, Central and Eastern Ukrainian regions considerably varies.
The representatives for the Ukrainian government and the pro-independence forces of the country's southeastern regions reached a ceasefire agreement during the Contact Group on reconciliation of the Ukrainian crisis meeting in Minsk on September 5.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is interested in promoting the peace agreements reached in Minsk and the West should support his focus on their implementation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
"I think [Petro] Poroshenko is interested in promoting the peace agreements and needs support, first of all from the West, which staked on the transition of the situation in Ukraine from the post-Maidan state to a legitimate course. It's with that purpose that the presidential elections were announced," Lavrov told the Russian TVC channel.
The minister noted that "the West should support Poroshenko's focus on the implementation of peace agreements". "Because all the others, many, at least, are trying to seriously hinder his efforts," Lavrov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko are not discussing Crimea as part of their talks on the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
“Crimea is not discussed. I can assure you that this issue is not being raised in the course of telephone conversations and direct contacts between our presidents,” Lavrov told the Russian TVC channel.
Lavrov noted that in the course of their dialogue the leaders of the two countries are discussing the possibility of Russia using its obvious levers to help with the constitutional reform process in Ukraine. The minister reminded that the necessity of conducting constitutional reforms is mentioned in the February 21 agreement signed by ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovitch, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko and leader of Ukraine’s nationalist Svoboda party Oleh Tyagnibok.
The document was attested by the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland.
Moscow confirms that the movement of the strike group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the eastern city of Debaltseve has been halted, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
Lavrov noted that several days after the Ukraine ceasefire agreement was signed in Minsk Russia "received information, confirmed by the militia, that a strike group consisting of artillery and tanks was being formed near Debaltseve".
"We have called the attention of the Kiev authorities to this information. We were assured that there were no plans in this respect and that measures would be taken to ensure that no one would have such an impression. According to our data, the movements have been halted, and we have not received any more information of the sort," Lavrov told the Russian TVC channel.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been carried out a military operation against the pro-independence movement of southeastern Ukraine. During the meeting of the Contact Group on reconciliation of the Ukrainian crisis held September 5 in Minsk, the representatives of the pro-independence forces and the Ukrainian government agreed on a ceasefire that came into force on the same day. As of Saturday, both sides claimed the ceasefire is observed, with Moscow however labeling the agreement fragile and accusing Kiev of building up military in the region of the conflict.