Putin Addresses Russia's Security Council, Laments Kiev's Unresponsiveness
14:39 23.01.2015(updated 16:22 23.01.2015)
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow received no clear response from Kiev regarding its suggestions to settle the conflict in Donbas.
NOVO-OGARYOVO (Moscow Region), January 23 (Sputnik) – Moscow received no clear response from Kiev regarding its suggestions on settling the conflict in Donbas, instead of talking to Russia the Ukrainian authorities instead launched large-scale attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"Unfortunately, we received no clear response to our suggestion, but instead the authorities in Kiev issued an official order to launch large-scale military actions across almost the entire contact line of the warring side," Putin said during a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council.
The Russian president told the Security Council that a week ago he sent a letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko with a suggestion to withdraw heavy armament – artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems – to avoid shelling of residential areas.
But despite a ceasefire agreement reached between the warring sides in September 2014, Kiev started a large military operation at the Donetsk airport on Sunday and intensified the shelling of Donetsk.
The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, said on Friday the republic will no longer attempt to speak with Kiev about a ceasefire.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin earlier told RIA Novosti that recent developments in the southeast of Ukraine confirm the suspicion that Kiev wants to settle the situation using military force.
The authorities in Kiev giving criminal orders are to blame for deaths of people in Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
'Those who are giving such criminal orders bear responsibility. The people who are doing this must be aware that there is no other way to solve similar conflicts but peaceful negotiations and political means,' Putin said at a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council.
Putin stressed that despite Kiev's assurances that it was committed to a peaceful settlement, its practical actions demonstrated otherwise.
The Russian president added that Kiev had not given any clear response to Russia's initiative on a peaceful settlement in Donbas. Instead, Putin remarked, Ukrainian authorities have launched a large-scale operation along the entire fighting perimeter between the opposing parties.
In September, 2014, Kiev and independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine achieved a ceasefire deal, mediated by Russian representatives and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Under the agreement, the parties were to implement a ceasefire and withdraw heavy weaponry along the line of contact. However, the parties have accused each other of numerous ceasefire violations and fighting is ongoing in the area.
Since the beginning 2015, the fighting between Kiev forces and independence supporters has intensified.
Kiev started a large military operation at Donetsk airport on Sunday and ramped up the shelling of Donetsk. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said on Wednesday that the United Nations was alarmed by the heavy escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, which has been the worst since the Minsk ceasefire agreement was reached.
Ukrainian authorities are randomly using artillery fire and shelling densely populated areas in the country's east accompanied by propagandistic slogans on peace, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
"Artillery, mortars and aircraft are being used, randomly by the way, directly at densely populated regions," Putin said during a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council.
"And all of this is accompanied with propagandistic slogans on trying to find peace and searching for those responsible," Putin added.
The president stressed that recently the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions has severely deteriorated.
Despite a ceasefire agreement reached by the warring sides in September 2014 and a subsequent 'silence regime' proclaimed in early December, confrontation between Kiev forces and independence supporters in southeast Ukraine has intensified sharply in the beginning of 2015.
Following the New Year holidays the Donetsk airport became a hotspot for fighting between Kiev-led forces and independence militia.
On January 19, a senior commander of the armed militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said that more than 30 civilians, including children, had been killed January 18 in the city of Horlivka, in the Donbas region, in a series of airstrikes carried out by Ukrainian warplanes.
On January 22, the shelling of a trolleybus stop in Donetsk killed at least 15 and injured more than 20 people.
On Thursday, the UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs called the current situation in southeastern Ukraine the 'worst hostilities' since the broken ceasefire agreements were signed.
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