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16:47 07 Apr 2021

"Moscow raises the stakes": Klimkin comments on escalation in Donbas

Former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin commented on Russia's consent to an emergency meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on April 7, initiated by the Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG Leonid Kravchuk.

Ukraine 24 reports.

"The Kremlin will use this meeting to create the appearance of contacts between us and the occupation administrations. And it will say that the security issue, as they say there in the Kremlin, the shelling, which is not controlled, must be resolved between us and the occupation administrations. That is why, I think, Moscow agreed to an emergency meeting of the TCG. The meeting is important. We must use all opportunities to really return to the de-escalation of the situation, to the fact that Moscow is now pumping up the situation by raising the stakes," the ex-minister said.

He also said that Russia used the current accumulation of troops on the border with Ukraine both geopolitically and as political pressure on Ukraine.

"Both are unequivocal. This is geopolitics, as Putin is preparing to bargain with Biden, the new US administration. Of course, he's very offended by Biden's words about the 'killer,' and needs to raise the stakes. And here's, of course, geopolitics. But it's a conscious pressure on us, desire to create space for maneuver in the Donbas and to inflate the situation on the southern flank," Klimkin said.

Earlier, the Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kravchuk said that Ukraine would no longer hold talks on Donbas in Minsk, as Belarus was under the influence of the Russian Federation.

Earlier, the Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kravchuk said that Ukraine would no longer hold talks on Donbas in Minsk, as Belarus was under the influence of the Russian Federation.

In addition, Kravchuk urgently addressed the OSCE Special Representative.

To recap, four Ukrainian defenders were lost in the last two days in Donbas.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi plans to visit Donbas this week. The visit will take place amid the escalation of the situation in the Joint Forces Operation zone.

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