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Iran Press TV

Western troops in Ukraine destabilize situation: Russia

Iran Press TV

Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:42PM

Russia says the presence of Western troops in Ukraine will only further complicate the situation in the country.

"The existence of instructors, specialists or military personnel from third countries by far will not help in the settlement of the [Ukrainian] conflict or by far won't help create an atmosphere for the successful fulfillment of the [Minsk] agreements," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Friday.

The move "is capable of seriously destabilizing the situation" in Ukraine, he added.

US troops in Ukraine

Earlier in the day, the US army said it had dispatched around 300 troops to Ukraine allegedly to train the Ukrainian National Guard, which is fighting pro-Russia forces in the east of the country.

Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Major Jose Mendez, the operations officer for the brigade.

'We will be conducting classes on war-fighting functions, as well as training to sustain and increase the professionalism and proficiency of military staffs,' he pointed out.

Mendez added that the troops will train three battalions of the Ukrainian army for six months.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Washington's move violates the Minsk agreement aimed at ending the deadly crisis in eastern Ukraine.

'These actions by the US are in direct conflict with the agreements reached in Minsk on February 12," he said, adding that the Clause 10 of the Package of Measures of the agreement stipulates that "all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and mercenaries shall be withdrawn from Ukrainian territory.'

"Washington's encouraging attitude toward its revanchist plans is fraught with the resumption of mass bloodshed in the neighboring country [of Ukraine],' he warned.

Minsk ceasefire deal

The US move is expected to further heighten tensions in the restive eastern Ukraine and endanger a fragile truce deal that was recently signed between the warring sides.

As part of the ceasefire agreement clinched in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine front lines.

Source of conflict

The Moscow-Washington relations have cooled sharply after Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.

Relations were strained further after Ukraine launched military operations in mid-April 2014 to silence the pro-Russia protests in the country's mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east.

Kiev, the US and the European Union accuse Moscow of involvement in the chaotic situation in eastern Ukraine and have imposed a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures.

Moscow categorically rejects the allegation, blaming the US and its allies for escalating the tension in the violence-ravaged eastern Ukraine through arming the Ukrainian army.

FNR/AS/MHB



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