The Kremlin warns Brussels that advising the Kiev troops violates the Minsk peace accords and calls the decision “unthinking”
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday alerted the European Union in relation to the planned deployment of a military advisory mission in Ukraine, as announced on Tuesday in the framework of the 23rd Ukraine-EU summit. The warning was issued by the Russian Foreign spokeswoman, María Zajárova, underlining that such a European military presence “would be a violation of the Minsk peace agreements”, reached in February 2015.
In the opinion of Zajárova, who called the project of military cooperation with Kiev “training bases”, the step taken by Brussels has been “thoughtless” and “raises concern”. “The implementation of such an initiative (…) will contribute to the militarization of Ukraine and an escalation of tension in Donbass,” the separatist east of Ukraine, said the Russian diplomatic spokeswoman.
On Tuesday in Kiev, while the Euro-Ukrainian summit was taking place, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Andréi Tarán, declared that “we are doing everything necessary so that by the end of this year a consultative and military training mission – of the European Union – is implemented in practice ”. The request for military aid to Brussels came precisely from Tarán himself a few months ago. But the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, clarified on Tuesday that the initiative is still pending “analysis” in Brussels.
In any case, last Monday, France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, the four components of the Normandy Group, agreed to hold a meeting of this quartet at the level of Foreign Ministers in the near future, yet to be determined, to try to advance towards the peace in eastern Ukraine and urge the parties to implement the Minsk agreements. To do this, President Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel spoke by telephone in succession with the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, and with the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin.
In this regard, Zajárova affirmed this Thursday that the meeting of the heads of Foreign Affairs of the Normandy Quartet “is already in preparation.” “During the telephone contacts on October 11, the leaders of Russia, Germany and France agreed to instruct their political advisers and foreign affairs agencies to identify the most relevant and urgent tasks” regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreements, he said. the spokeswoman.
Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, a similar uprising occurred in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which also received military and financial support from Moscow. A war was unleashed that caused more than 13,000 deaths and was managed to stop in part thanks to the Minsk agreements. However, the different interpretations of the treaty make it impossible to move towards the final end of hostilities.
Moscow believes that Kiev should sit down to dialogue with the separatists to define the model of autonomy that they will have within Ukraine and then bring it to Parliament for approval while the Ukrainian authorities first demand elections with international guarantees from which the leaders of the Ukraine emerge. Donetsk and Donbass to talk to. The current ones, chosen in elections that no one has recognized except Russia, are considered “terrorists” in Kiev.
Even today the trickle of deaths from sporadic clashes that take place on the “line of separation” between Ukrainian Army forces and the armed rebels of Donbass continues.