Ukraine has sabotaged peace plan – Russia

Moscow has nothing to do with the crisis in the Donbass, the Russian ambassador insisted.

Ukraine’s continued refusal to implement the Minsk peace agreements means that Kiev only has itself to blame for its impending destruction, the Russian ambassador to the UN has claimed at a meeting of the Security Council.

Speaking on Monday, Vassily Nebenzya accused Ukraine of hurting itself by sabotaging the Minsk agreements, two peace treaties signed in 2014 and 2015 that aimed to put an end to the War in Donbass.

The conflict began in 2014 after the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government in Ukraine. This eventually led to the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) declaring independence, a move recognized by neither Moscow nor Kiev. Ukraine believes Russia is backing the two republics.

However, according to Nebenzya, the conflict in Donbass is an internal Ukrainian problem that can only be resolved by the government in Kiev and its implementation of the Minsk agreements, “which primarily provide for direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.”

“If our Western colleagues are pushing Kiev to sabotage the Minsk agreements, which the Ukrainian authorities are happy to do, this could end in the most disastrous way for Ukraine. And not because someone will destroy it. But because it will destroy itself,” Nebenzya said.

“And Russia has absolutely nothing to do with it. Don’t try to shift the blame from the sick to the healthy,” the diplomat continued.

The UN Security Council debate was called by Washington in response to the current situation in Ukraine. Moscow stands accused of placing 100,000 troops on the frontier, with some alleging it is planning an attack. This claim has repeatedly been denied by the Kremlin, and it has also been played down by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia had attempted to stop the debate from going ahead, but only found support from China. Gabon, India, and Kenya abstained.

Russia, a signatory of Minsk II, has also been accused of failing to uphold its end of the bargain. According to the US, Moscow is responsible for backing illegal armed groups in Donbass, and has even been accused of putting its own troops in the region. According to the treaties, all foreign fighters must be moved from Ukraine.

“We continue to call on the Russian government to fulfill its Minsk agreement commitments to pull back forces and weapons from the Line of Contact in eastern Ukraine, as well as to pull back the forces it has amassed along Ukraine’s borders and end its aggressive and threatening rhetoric,” a statement from US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in December.

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