Russia will continue backing separatist ‘republics’ in Donbas without recognizing them – FM Lavrov

Moscow’s move to recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics would be counterproductive as this would give the West a pretext to stop pressure on Kyiv on implementing the Minsk peace deal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda website.

“I’m convinced that this will be counterproductive,” Lavrov said. “If we say now that ‘our patience has run out, we will go another way,’ they will say ‘fine, then the West will have no influence on the current Ukrainian authorities now.”

However, according to the top Russian diplomat, Russia will continue to back separatists in Ukraine’s southeast.

“We are not giving up Ukraine’s southeast or forgetting about it and are very actively supporting it not only politically,” Lavrov stressed. “This is both humanitarian assistance and solving current economic problems, the problems of this region’s life.”

Read also: Pro-Russian militants kill almost 10,000 in ATO zone in two years – Ukraine’s security agency, following TASS

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