19 Apr 2019 09:13

Kyiv refuses to take further measures to bolster truce in Donbas - Russia's Gryzlov

MOSCOW. April 19 (Interfax) - The Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) has thus far failed to agree on an Easter truce in Donbas because of Kyiv's position.

A possible ceasefire between Kyiv, on one hand, and Donetsk and Luhansk, on the other hand, was discussed on Thursday at a videoconference held by the TCG security subgroup and later by the TCG itself, Russia's permanent representative to the TCG talks Boris Gryzlov told reporters.

"Unfortunately, that discussion did not produce any result. Kyiv refused to take additional measures to bolster the truce in order to guarantee substantial security and a transition to a political settlement process. The proposals that were put forth by Donetsk and Luhansk and that were supported by Russia and earlier by the OSCE were turned down," Gryzlov said.

Gryzlov also expressed skepticism over a unilateral ceasefire announced by Kyiv head of the videoconference.

"As regards the so-called 'unilateral ceasefire' announced by representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the run-up to the videoconference, this 'ceasefire' is a fake. Kyiv's armed forces continue shelling Donbas, including residential areas. We see that all of the Kyiv authorities' statements about their willingness to reach an Easter truce have turned out to be empty words. Kyiv effectively refuses to hold talks with Donbas, even though it is Donbas that Kyiv ought to hold direct talks with," he said.

At a TCG meeting in Minsk on April 10, "the Kyiv delegation also refused to agree upon a ceasefire," he said.

"And the previous truce reached between the sides in the Ukrainian conflict ahead of the March 8 [International Women's Day] holiday was almost immediately broken by the Kyiv side," he said.