Turchynov warns Donbas conflict may escalate amid Putin's election campaign
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov does not exclude the intensification of hostilities and military provocations in Donbas during the election campaign of the incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin who has recently announced plans to run for a new term, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"There are no real reasons for the termination of the work of Russian representatives in the JCCC [Joint Center for Control and Coordination in Donbas]. The reasons are exclusively political, the reasons are exclusively provocative – this is Putin's election campaign, during which we do not exclude the intensification of hostilities and military provocations. For this purpose, they're withdrawing their officers from the contact line, and this is really a problem," he said at Kyiv Zhuliany Airport on Thursday during the presentation of a system for handling biometric passports of foreigners and stateless persons.
Read alsoRussia's withdrawal from JCCC heightens environmental risks in Donbas – UK FCOAccording to Turchynov, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to repulse any provocations of the aggressor.
"At the same time, I believe we will find mechanisms how to prevent these provocations. In any case, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to defend Ukraine and there will be no concessions," he said.