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Iran Press TV

Arms export to Ukraine worsens crisis, violates peace deals: Russia

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:15PM

Russia says the supply of arms to Ukraine will not help settle the conflict gripping the East European state and will rather complicate the implementation of the Minsk peace deals.

"Of course, there is no way the delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine from abroad will help resolve the internal Ukrainian crisis and fulfill the Minsk agreements, considering an increase in the number of provocations staged on the contact line," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

The remarks came one day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the West to provide military assistance to his country.

In a speech at the "Ukraine's Battle for Freedom Continues" forum in Washington on Wednesday, Poroshenko urged the international community to revisit its "attitude" regarding the export of weapons to Ukraine.

"Yet, I could never explain one thing to myself and to my compatriots – reluctance of the international community to supply weapons to the legitimate Ukrainian government and regular Ukrainian army," the Ukrainian president said.

The government in Kiev and pro-Russian forces signed the ceasefire agreement in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk in September 2014 in a bid to halt the war in Ukraine's eastern regions.

They agreed to 12 points, including pulling back heavy weapons, releasing prisoners, setting up a buffer zone on the Russia-Ukraine border, and allowing access to international observers.

The warring sides also inked another truce deal, dubbed Minsk II, in February 2015 under the supervision of Russia, Germany and France.

Since then, however, both parties have, on numerous occasions, accused each other of breaking the ceasefire.

Ukraine's eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush pro-Moscow protests there.

The crisis has left more than 9,000 people dead and over 20,000 others injured, according to the United Nations.

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