Moscow expects Donbas republics to be established within their declared borders, diplomat says
Russia has never sought to make territorial gains at the expense of Ukraine in its military operation, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said. The diplomat, however, noted that Russia expects certain areas to be added to the two newly recognized Donbas republics so that their territories correspond to the borders within which they have been recognized by Russia.
Territorial gains have “never was our intention,” Chizhov told EURACTIV in an interview on Friday, when asked if Russian forces would leave Ukraine without gaining ground.
“We have enough territory. What you may indirectly imply is that the territories of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk will in fact be extended to cover all of these two “oblasts”, said Chizhov.
The diplomat clarified that Moscow expects the territory that is de facto under the control of Lugansk and Donetsk to correspond to this. “reflected in their constitutions”.
“In fact, what the Russian armed forces are doing is supporting the counterattack of the militias of the two now recognized Donbass republics,” he said, referring to the ongoing military operation in Ukraine launched by Russia on Thursday morning.
Chizhov expressed hope that a “a possible new government in Kyiv and the authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk would be able to find common ground to negotiate friendly relations” at one point.
“In fact, the Russian army is not there to start the war, it is there to end the war,” he added. the Russian envoy to the EU said, echoing the assessment made by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a recent interview with RT.
Russia launched a large-scale military operation in Ukraine on Thursday morning, aimed at “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, according to the Kremlin. This development prompted the US, EU, UK and Canada to impose a series of sweeping sanctions on Russia, which also personally targeted Putin, government ministers, senior security officials and of the army and their families, as well as deputies of the State Duma. The West denounced the offensive as a “without provocation” attack that violates the sovereignty of Ukraine. The Kremlin insisted the military action was justified, saying Kiev would have tried to take the breakaway republics by force in the near future. Kiev had denied this.
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