The United States will not accept Russia’s attempts to distance itself from the conflict in Donbas and present itself as a “mediator”, since the Russian Federation started this conflict and continues to fuel it.
Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, March 18, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“We will not accept, nor will we ignore, Russia’s constant attempts to distance itself from a conflict for which it is solely responsible. And we will not accept the Kremlin’s efforts to cast Russia as an impartial mediator,” the diplomat said.
She emphasized that Russia’s aggression started this conflict, Russia’s support fuels it, and Russia’s obstructionism at peace talks prevents its peaceful resolution.
Austrian noted that although the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire, which took effect on July 27, 2020, brought about historically low levels of violence, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains fragile. At the same time, Russian-led forces are again using heavy weapons and continuing to block the freedom of movement of SMM patrols.
“In recent weeks, we have noted a troubling shift in Russia’s messaging on the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s latest stream of disinformation appears designed to predict and pre-assign blame for an escalation of violence,” she said.