28 Dec 2021 12:29

Allegations that Russia seeking to invade, absorb Ukraine are 'absolute ravings' - Federation Council's Kosachyov

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) - The possibility that Moscow could recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) is currently irrelevant, Russian Federation Council Deputy Chair Konstantin Kosachyov said.

"Hypothetically, this possibility could become relevant if and when all other ways to settle the conflict in southeastern Ukraine are exhausted. Many years have passed since the start of the conflict, but in Russia, we still view it as an internal Ukrainian conflict. It hasn't turned into a conflict between states. This is exhaustively stipulated in the Minsk Agreements," Kosachyov said in an interview with Interfax.

As a country guaranteeing the implementation of these agreements, Russia is willing to facilitate the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, provided that Kyiv respects the rights and interests of its citizens living in the southeastern part of the country and stops viewing them as separatists and terrorists, he said.

The allegations that "Russia is trying to invade and absorb Ukraine are absolute ravings," he said.

"Our strategy now is not to divide Ukraine somehow and tear some territories off it, but to help unite a brotherly nation, which includes ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, and members of a huge number of other ethnic groups," Kosachyov said.

Asked whether it might make sense to review the Minsk Agreements, Kosachyov said he does not consider it reasonable for now.

"This would only worsen the situation. The Minsk Agreements should be implemented. And since they exist, it makes sense to hold on to them like to a lifebuoy," he said.

Ukraine has not implemented these agreements because it is not planning to grant any autonomy to its southeastern regions and take into account the interests of the people living there but is rather building a mono-ethnic state, Kosachyov said.

At the same time, the West is playing an intricate geopolitical game by allowing Kyiv not to implement the agreements, he said.