On Friday, August 20, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at a press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, spoke about the tense situation in Donbass, TASS reports. He recalled that since the beginning of August, more than a thousand cases of violation of the ceasefire regime have been recorded on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. In this regard, he asked the German Chancellor, on the eve of her visit to Kiev, to influence the Ukrainian authorities to fulfil their obligations.
“It seems that the leadership of this country [Ukraine] has decided in principle to refuse a peaceful resolution of the situation. In this regard, we once again ask the Federal Chancellor, including taking into account the upcoming visit to Kiev, to influence the Ukrainian side in terms of fulfilling all the obligations taken earlier,” Putin said.
The Russian President stressed that Russia is concerned about Ukraine’s statements on the actual refusal to implement the Minsk agreements.
“We are concerned that the Ukrainian side says one thing to the press during official negotiations and another thing inside the country. In fact – I want to emphasize this, it is enough to look at the statements of the top officials of the state – it says that it is not going to implement the Minsk agreements,” Putin concluded.
According to the President, the adoption by Ukraine of a new law “On the Government Policy of the Transition Period” in Donbass will mean Kiev’s withdrawal from Minsk-2.
“Today I informed the Federal Chancellor that the next draft law has been submitted by the Government of Ukraine. And if this law is adopted, it will mean – please read, this is not a secret document, it is hanging on the website for sure – it will mean the actual withdrawal of Ukraine unilaterally from the Minsk process,” Putin said.
He recalled that the Minsk agreements are enshrined in the relevant resolution of the UN Security Council, and “in this sense, they have acquired the format of norms of international law”.
“Because there is not only something that contradicts the Minsk agreements, everything there contradicts the Minsk agreement. This will mean the actual withdrawal of Ukraine from these agreements,” the President said.
In turn, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in an interview with the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, noted that Moscow regards the statements of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky against the Russian population as inciting ethnic hatred.
“Let me remind you that in the first days of August, the Commissioner for the protection of the state language, Taras Kremin, said to all non-Ukrainian-speaking residents of Ukraine to leave the country. In turn, Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky, in an interview published on August 5, advised Russians to “leave and look for a place in Russia”. We regard such statements as inciting ethnic hatred. By the way, criminal liability is provided for in the EU countries for this,” Lavrov noted.
The Minister stressed that Moscow qualifies Kiev’s actions as “creating the ideology of national intolerance in Ukraine, primarily in relation to Russians”. He said that Russians living in Ukraine, and the vast majority of the country’s residents speak and use the Russian language, so Kiev will still be pushed to fulfil its obligations towards country residents and according to human rights.
Earlier it was reported that Ukraine left without an answer (that is, refused) the application for the participation in the “Crimean Platform” summit of the Head of the working group on International Legal Issues at the permanent mission of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation, Alexander Molokhov.
“I went the official way as the Head of the International Organization “Tavrida”, […] I registered, respectively, within a day the organizers had to send a letter, reject, or not reject my application. Today, the third day has gone, there is no answer. I am not surprised, I assumed that something like this would happen, but it seemed to me that they would not remain silent, that they would speak publicly, that this is not a format, they would say “Molokhov is an impostor”, but they decided to keep silent,” Molokhov said.
He explained that the purpose of his participation in the “Crimean Platform” was to convey “the truth about what is happening in Crimea” and say openly that “no one wants to return to where they were”. To avoid such situations in the future, Molokhov suggested holding alternative events and creating their own discussion platforms.
Despite this, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan, Dmitry Zhirnov, promised on the “Solovyov Live” YouTube channel that citizens of post-Soviet countries, including Ukrainians, who apply to the Russian Embassy in Kabul for help with evacuation from Afghanistan, will definitely meet the help of the Russian side, which proves clear intentions of Russian officials to help. Unfortunately, so far unilateral.