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1 Feb, 2017 11:03

Russian senators ask Ukraine MPs to stop new outbreak of violence in Donbass

Russian senators ask Ukraine MPs to stop new outbreak of violence in Donbass

The Russian upper house has called on the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to put an end to the aggressive actions of the military and ensure Ukraine fulfills its obligations within the Minsk Agreements.

At Wednesday’s session of the Federation Council, the head of the Committee for International Relations, Konstantin Kosachev, proposed that his colleagues express a consolidated position over the latest outbreak of violence between Ukrainian armed forces and paramilitary units against the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.

In particular, Kosachev said Russian senators must call upon the Rada to “put an end to criminal actions of the Ukrainian military in the southeast of” Ukraine and to observe the Minsk Agreements.

Kosachev also noted that, according to information from monitor, the latest outbreak of violence began after armed people moved into the “gray zone” from the Ukrainian side, apparently with the intent of undermining the Minsk Agreements.

The ongoing provocation looks very much like a well-directed show. [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko interrupted a foreign visit and has returned to Ukraine in a very demonstrative manner,” he said.

Upper house Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and other senators supported Kosachev’s initiative. Later in the day he told reporters that the address had been made verbally.

Earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukrainian forces of using heavy artillery to shell residential areas in Donetsk, adding that Kiev seems to favor a military resolution of the Ukrainian conflict. The shelling resulted in casualties among civilians and the destruction of several infrastructure facilities, the ministry added.

Russian diplomats called on the Ukrainian government “to stop armed provocations in Donbass immediately, to adhere to the existing ceasefire agreements and to proceed with responsible implementation of all provisions” of the Minsk Accords, including political reforms.

Regions in eastern Ukraine, already suffering from an economic blockade by Kiev, are once again on the brink of a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe, the statement adds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the latest escalation of violence was provoked by an attack from Ukrainian paramilitary units supported by the army.