Russia concerned about US attempts to distort initiative on UN mission in Donbass

Russia is concerned about the US attempts to distort the initiative on a UN mission in Donbass, which presuppose the introduction of the UN administration in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated following a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.

"We are concerned about the attempts to turn on its head our initiative on sending UN guards to ensure the security of the OSCE mission," the Russian Minister said. "The initiative fits in a hundred per cent with the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements. Our initiative would have UN guards follow the OSCE observers whenever they work and wherever they go."

"What we heard from US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker is something entirely different," Lavrov said. "His approach is that without getting over-focused on the issues of the special status for Donbass, amnesty, preparation for elections through direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, an immediate introduction should begin of what amounts to a UN administration which would oversee everything that happens in the DPR and LPR. "

As the Russian Foreign Minister noted, "in this case there can be no question of any Minsk process," as its core is precisely direct negotiations and reaching agreements on all the aspects.

Russia also urged the US to stop provocative statements of Kiev on its readiness to resolve the situation in Donbass by force.

"We have drawn attention to the fact that it would be very wrong to send signals of this kind to the Ukrainians because it would reinforce their feeling that they could ignore their obligations and drift away from the Minsk Agreements. In fact, some government members have said publicly that they can solve the problem by military means," the Russian Foreign Minister said.

"We called on Washington to stop such provocations," Lavrov added.

DONi News Agency