24 Dec 2018 17:43

Kyiv might use chemical weapons in Donbas - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) - Moscow sees Kyiv's readiness to resort to an act of provocation involving the use of chemical weapons in Donbas, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"News is coming every day on growing activities of the Ukrainian troops along the entire line of contact in Donbas, especially in the Mariupol and Horlivka sectors. It is quite possible that the Ukrainian Armed Forces might switch to full-scale combat actions within the next few days," Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

"At the same time, we see that, apart from a ground operation, Kyiv is also mulling other options to increase tensions in the region and extend martial law. We are really concerned about increasingly more frequent reports by 'experts' in Ukrainian media outlets on the possible use of chemical warfare agents by LPR and DPR [self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics] armed units," she said.

"This circumstance gives grounds to presume that the strategists in Kyiv have thoroughly analyzed the record of their foreign supervisors in staging provocations involving the use of weapons of mass destruction and are ready to put it into practice," she said.

Zakharova recalled a statement by Iryna Friz, the head of Ukraine's permanent delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, about "the development by Russia of chemical and biological weapons to use them against Ukraine," which, in Zakharova's view, signals Kyiv's preparedness to resort to the use of weapons of mass destruction as an act of provocation.