Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned Ukraine against being "pushed from the outside" to launch a hot phase of the Donbas conflict, claiming the move threatens to destroy the country.
"Those who will try to start a new war in Donbas will destroy Ukraine," Lavrov said in an interview with Channel One, Deutsche Welle reports.
"According to the information published in the media, most of the military understand the perniciousness of any action to launch a hot conflict. I very much hope they will not be incited by politicians, who, in turn, will be incited by the West led by the United States," Lavrov said,
The top diplomat noted lot of speculation observed about the documents recently approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"To what extent does this reflect actual politics? And to what extent is it aimed at solving Zelensky's issues within the country related to a sliding rating? I don't know if this is a bluff or concrete plans," the Russian foreign minister added.
Lavrov's statement comes amid Russia amassing troops and military hardware along the Ukrainian border under the pretext of drills.
- On March 30, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution demanding that Russia "immediately cease hostilities and strictly adhere to the ceasefire regime, fully implement its international obligations and withdraw from Ukraine its army, mercenaries, and armed groups it controls, maintains, and finances ".
- Russia, on the other hand, claims there is an ongoing "internal conflict" in Ukraine.
- Earlier, the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group accused the Russian delegation of unwillingness to reaffirm their readiness to cease fire from April 1.
- The issue of Donbas escalation was on the agenda of a phone call on Wednesday between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The Pentagon has also warned the parties against aggravation in Donbas.