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Iran Press TV

Ukraine routinely passes up chances of peace: Russia

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 3, 2015 5:55PM

Russia's foreign minister has accused Ukraine of routinely missing the opportunity of reaching an agreement with pro-Moscow forces on the implementation of the Minsk peace deal.

Speaking in Moscow on Friday, Sergei Lavrov said, "The current Kiev authorities have routinely demonstrated their inability to come to an agreement," adding, "The situation is alarming because we're witnessing a tendency, if you will."

The top Russian diplomat criticized the constitutional reforms proposed by Kiev, complaining they did not honor even a "single requirement" of the peace deal inked between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia forces in the Belarusian capital Minsk in February.

He added that the Kiev authorities were "torpedoing" the truce agreement and refusing to directly negotiate with pro-Russians, urging the West to pressure Ukrainian authorities to honor the Minsk deal.

Lavrov further said, "Russia is deeply concerned by Kiev's inability or unwillingness to implement a requirement to agree with Donetsk and Lugansk on the ways of implementing local elections and involving representatives in work on the new constitution."

The Minsk peace deal urged both conflicting sides to withdraw heavy weaponry from conflict zones and then start negotiations on holding local elections in the restive eastern areas.

Meanwhile, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin accused the West of paying lip service to resolving the crisis.

"Together with the Kiev authorities, the West only mimics the constitutional process in Ukraine, and this only deepens Ukraine's humanitarian crisis," he said in the Russian parliament.

The Ukrainian conflict broke out in March 2014 following a referendum in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, in which people voted overwhelmingly for reunification with Russia.

The situation degenerated into a major armed conflict after Kiev dispatched troops to the eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk in April 2014 in an attempt to suppress pro-Russia forces there.

The persisting conflict has so far claimed the lives of at least 6,500 people and displaced nearly 1.5 million citizens, according the United Nations figures.

The West and the Kiev government accuse Russia of involvement in the crisis, an allegation denied by Moscow.

HN/MKA



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