Russia increases tension and threatened a possible “bloodbath” in eastern Ukraine

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  Sergei Lavrov Yuri Kochetkov / Pool via REUTERS

Sergei Lavrov Yuri Kochetkov / Pool via REUTERS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Wednesday that the possible modification of the Minsk Accords could provoke a bloodbath in eastern Ukraine. The strong statements come amid the scandal unleashed by Kremlin espionage in the Czech Republic, nation that accuses Putin’s agents of attack local companies related to the provision of military technology to Ukraine.

In an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, the head of Russian diplomacy He accused the government of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski of seeking to reverse the order of implementation of the agreements.

To do this, he explained that Zelenski’s idea would be “to first gain control of Donbass, including the border with Russia, and only afterwards (…) hold elections or grant amnesty for ex-combatants.” According to Lavrov, it is “obvious that if they did it that way, if someone let them do it, there would be a bloodbath. “

The hostilities have so far left some 13,000 dead, according to UN estimates

In this sense, he argued that the West has not “been able or willing” to force Kiev to “comply with the Minsk Accords in strict accordance with their planned sequence.”

“Border control is the last step, which occurs once those territories have special status enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, once they hold free elections recognized as such by the OSCE, etc.”, he explained.

Thus, he stressed that a total amnesty is necessary for the combatants and not a selective one. The Minsk Accords, signed in September 2014 and February 2015, laid the foundations for a political solution to the conflict, but so far did not lead to the cessation of violence. The hostilities have so far left some 13,000 dead, according to UN estimates.

  Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine

Moscow, in this sense, ensures that wants to avoid a war in eastern Ukraine. “If that is up to us and the militias, to the extent that we can understand their principled approaches, then a war can and should be avoided,” Lavrov said.

At the same time, he stated that Zelenski intends to “stay in power” and that for this he “is willing to pay any price”, including “supporting neo-Nazis and ultra-radicals who continue to declare the Donbass militias terrorists.”

In addition, he claimed that now the responsibility for Kiev to comply with the agreements lies with the West. “Only the West can force the president of Ukraine to implement what was signed by his predecessor and by Zelensky himself in December 2019 in Paris”, He said.

In this context, Lavrov has affirmed that now “the international moral and legal truth is on our side and on the side of the militia.” In addition, he pointed to the “errors of reasoning” of the West about its military exercises.

Military maneuvers of the Russian naval force in Crimea.  EFE / EPA / VADIM SAVITSKY / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY / HANDOUT

Military maneuvers of the Russian naval force in Crimea. EFE / EPA / VADIM SAVITSKY / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY / HANDOUT

“You will remember those cries that Russia was advancing its troops towards the borders of Ukraine (…) And then when we announced the end of the exercises, malevolent exclamations began to be heard from the West that Russia had been forced to back down, that it had withdrawn (…) Those countries have illusions, ”said Lavrov.

For him, the objective of these countries is to take advantage of this situation to make people believe that their voice and position are “decisive” in international relations. The Russian Armed Forces concluded their maneuvers on April 22 in the eastern Crimean peninsula, in which more than 10,000 personnel, 1,200 military equipment and 40 Navy ships participated.

Russian military deployed to Crimea

Russian military deployed to Crimea

The NATO countries considered the training of the Russian forces as an “aggressive act” against Ukraine. However, the Kremlin accused the charges and defended that his country was moving its military forces within its own territory.

RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM

The Russian minister took the opportunity to accuse Britain of trying to undermine relations between Russia and the European Union. “When it comes to relations between Russia and Europe, I think that, as before, the British are playing an active and very serious subversive role,” he said.

It also pointed out that the British left the EU but “they are trying to influence as much as possible the positions taken by the EU members towards Moscow”, but at the same time “they send us signals proposing to establish some contacts”.

(With information from EP)

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