Debaltsevo another pretext for US to impose new sanctions on Russia – FM

Debaltsevo another pretext for US to impose new sanctions on Russia – FM
# 18 February 2015 14:17 (UTC +04:00)

According to Lavrov, the main task is still ceasing fire.

“Volunteers in many places say they are ready to start heavy weaponry withdrawal. But fighting is still going on Debaltsevo. In Minsk, we talked about Ukrainian forces in the encirclement there. We said it is important to discuss how they can leave Debaltsevo. The question was, they should be allowed to leave heavy weaponry there and retreat with honor. Kiev wasn’t ready for that. But the volunteers had said in advance that they were not going to allow heavy vehicles to be pulled out of Debaltsevo. To their mind, Ukrainian troops will otherwise return and there will be firefighting again. But Poroshenko said there is no encirclement. As a result, we have what we have,” he noted.

Lavrov noted that Debaltsevo is a pretext for the US to exert pressure and impose sanctions on Russia.

“Western politicians should contribute to the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict instead of heating up tensions around the crisis. We expect responsible politicians in the West to act in the interests of Ukrainian people and Ukrainian state,” the FM noted.

The Russian FM said that U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden’s statement on possible new sanctions against Russia, if the Minsk accords on a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine are not fulfilled, confirm Washington’s unconstructive approach.

"We treat this statement as a pronouncement traditional for Joe Biden containing new threats. Probably, he means that the US will demand from Russia to pay the price, including by forcing EU states to toughen their position. Debaltsevo is a pretext and we have signaled the need to settle this problem back on February 11, but we were told that this problem did not exist. But as it turns out, it does exist. That is why, I would treat this as a new confirmation of Washington’s unconstructive approach, in this case displayed by the US vice-president," Lavrov completed.

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