Russia can defend the residents of Donbass if forced, Dmitry Kozak, the deputy head of the Russian presidential administration, said on Thursday.
The decision, he said, will be made depending on “what scale the fire will have.” “If there is, as our president says, Srebrenica, we will probably have to defend ourselves,” Kozak said.
According to him, Russia intends to protect Russian citizens in the DPR and LPR, who are massively issued passports of the Russian Federation.
The decree on simplified certification of the population of the self-proclaimed republics was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019. As of January 2021, about 400 thousand people had Russian citizenship in the LPR and DPR.
The resumption of hostilities in Donbass, where more than 14 thousand people have died since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, “will be the beginning of the end of Ukraine,” Kozak threatened.
Russia, he said, stands for the full openness of the Minsk talks on Donbass and the publication of relevant documents.
“Ukraine is afraid to reveal its inconsistency. They are afraid to speak in public, – said Kozak. “We offered openness and broadcasting so that everyone could understand what was happening” (quotes from TASS).
The emergency negotiations on the situation in Donbass that took place the day before ended in vain, said Boris Gryzlov, head of the Russian delegation.
He put all the responsibility on Kiev, which, according to Gryzlov, “blocked without any arguments all constructive and specific by the mechanism of verification of violations” of the ceasefire.
“The participants of the contact group hoped that as a result of the meeting, concrete steps would be proposed for the implementation of additional measures. However, the four-hour discussion ended in vain. Instead, Ukrainian representatives attempted to emasculate and distort these measures again, ”Gryzlov said.
The Ukrainian side blamed Russia. Kiev made an attempt to adopt a statement following the meeting, but the delegation from Moscow “began to cling to all sorts of little things in the wording,” said the press secretary of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG, Oleksiy Arestovich.
“We were bargaining on separate words and points. We indicated that we are ready to compromise. They offered to leave the bureaucracy alone until people on both sides stop dying. Let’s, they say, now ensure a ceasefire, as it was in July-August, when the shooting actually stopped almost completely. We asked the Russian side directly: are you interested in preventing people from dying? They say: “Well, we want the parties to fulfill the agreements” … But we have already agreed. And so on in a circle, “Kommersant quotes Arestovich.