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9 Mar, 2021 15:59

Kiev should plan to sever all ties with Russia & only contact Moscow through 3rd parties, says former Ukrainian ambassador to US

Kiev should plan to sever all ties with Russia & only contact Moscow through 3rd parties, says former Ukrainian ambassador to US

Ukraine should be ready to completely cut all diplomatic relations with Russia. That's according to Valery Chaly, the country's former ambassador to the US, who believes Kiev should only communicate with Moscow through proxies.

Speaking to Ukrainian channel Espreso TV on Monday, Chaly said Kiev should be ready to break off all communication with Moscow at a moment's notice, and called Russia an "aggressor."

"It is necessary to prepare for this decision and, in case of further steps, to take it immediately," Chaly said.

In this case, Kiev would turn to another country to represent Ukraine's position and act as an intermediary between them. The diplomat did not name any particular country he had in mind.

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In response, the spokeswoman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, said that the former ambassador's words "indicate a desire to find justification for the war unleashed by the Kiev regime against its own people," while the Kremlin envoy for Crimea, Alexander Molokhov, called Chaly's statement "a road to nowhere."

"Various madmen have gone on the offensive in the vain hope of cutting the umbilical cord still linking Ukraine to Russia with blunt scissors," he said, referring to the former ambassador and others.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated since March 2014, when Crimea was reabsorbed into Russia after a referendum. The vote is not recognized by most of the world, which views it as an illegally-occupied Ukrainian peninsula.

In the years since, things have continued to worsen, against the backdrop of the conflict in Donbass. In eastern Ukraine, two regions have declared themselves as independent, in a move which has not been recognized by any UN country, including Russia. Kiev has accused the Kremlin of interfering in its internal affairs, which Moscow denies. According to Russian authorities, the conflict in Ukraine is an internal matter.

Last week, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that Russia is "profoundly" concerned at the increasing tensions in Donbass. In recent weeks, reports from both sides of the conflict have noted an increase in violence.

"We are carefully analyzing the situation," Peskov said. "We hope that the leadership of Ukraine will manage to keep these formations and units … from further provocative actions and from building up tension."

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