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Iran Press TV

Russia voices regret at Kiev's military operations

Iran Press TV

Tue Jul 1, 2014 12:0PM GMT

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed deep regret over Ukraine's decision to renew military operations against pro-Russians in the east of the country.

On Tuesday, Moscow blamed unidentified outside forces for ruining the Ukraine peace talks, while urging the parties to get back to the negotiating table.

"We are convinced that efforts to bring the situation back to the negotiating table should be continued," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow has also urged its foreign partners to stop using Ukraine as a bargaining chip in geopolitical games.

"One gets the impression that the change in Kiev's position...did not occur without outside influence," the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov announced that the "active phase" of the military operation against the protesters had resumed and the armed forces are attacking the strongholds of pro-Moscow forces.

According to reports, a series of new clashes erupted between the two sides in the eastern parts of the country during the early hours of Tuesday.

President Petro Poroshenko has refused to extend a 10-day ceasefire, which expired on Monday.

On Tuesday, Poroshenko said the truce was a "unique" opportunity to establish peace, which was not realized blaming the current situation on what he described as "criminal actions" by pro-Russian groups.

Before the ceasefire's expiration, Poroshenko discussed the situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande during a four-way phone call.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia activists and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the pro-Russia protests.

Violence intensified in May after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.

GMA/NN/SL



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