Russia urges Germany and France to safeguard peace
Russia pleaded to Germany and France on Saturday to ensure Kiev does not try to spur violence in east Ukraine to encourage the United States to send Ukrainian forces lethal weapons.
Paris and Berlin helped mediate a peace deal in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Feb. 12 to try to end fighting between government forces and Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The treaty, though, still remains tenuous.
What Russia’s foreign minister believes?
"I believe there are no madmen in the EU. [Previously the EU deployed peacekeepers] only in situations in which […] all sides of a conflict agreed to it. The EU would never go to any region – be it southeastern Ukraine or anywhere else – unless the conflicting sides agree to such a mission".
"I am convinced that Berlin and Paris, as the most important players ..., should prevent such a turn of events."
In his interview, the foreign minister also stated that the EU has recently recognized the Ukrainian crisis as a European problem, and no "overseas" interests should be involved in its settlement.
Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, added that Kiev should talk to the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republic rather than Moscow to secure their backing for peacekeepers.
Moscow has previously criticized Kiev's unilateral invitation of a police force under the EU aegis for a peacekeeping mission in war-torn eastern Ukraine. According to Russian statements, the move undermined the Minsk ceasefire agreement because it wasn’t agreed by the rebel forces.
Lavrov also underlined Russia's opposition to United Nations peacekeepers being sent to the east.
EU & USA stance on the Ukrainian crisis:
The European Union and the United States have imposed economic penalties on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. This has caused the worst twist between the West and Moscow.
Sources: Reuters, BBC, Russia Today