Genuine withdrawal of Russian troops from the border areas with Ukraine will be an important step towards de-escalation of the tension in the area, Kyiv’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva told journalists Thursday.
Yevheniia Filipenko told journalists’ from the Geneva UN correspondents’ association, ACANU, that her country has in recent weeks become the center of international politics over issues that concern Ukraine, all Europe, and the world at large.
“We believe that if the Russian officials are serious when they say they don’t want a new war, their words should be supported by concrete actions.
“Genuine withdrawal of Russian troops from the border areas will be an important step towards de-escalation of the situation,” said the ambassador.
Over the past weeks, there was an unprecedented escalation on the part of Russia which amassed more than 120,000 troops along the Ukrainian border and in “the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” Filipenko added.
Ukraine remains “strongly committed” to solving the crisis through diplomacy, while being committed to using UN institutions in Geneva, she also said.
“Today, our key task remains to demotivate Russia from pursuing its aggressive course against Ukraine, Europe, and European security order.”
Assembled on the Ukraine border there are more than 120,000 troops, military equipment, including tanks, artillery, electronic warfare systems, air, and naval units, Filipenko noted.
Another military drill
On top of that, on Jan. 26, the Russian fleet started another military drill in the Black Sea with the involvement of frigates, patrol ships, missile ships, assault landing ships, and minesweepers, coupled with ongoing heavy militarization of the “temporarily occupied Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by Russia,” Filipenko stressed.
The ambassador said Ukraine has been countering “Russia’s aggression” since 2014 and the country is prepared for various scenarios.
Ukraine sees that Russia’s main objective is to destabilize Ukraine, politically, economically, “even without the use of military force, but through a threat of use of force.”
Filipenko said one of the components of Ukraine’s “comprehensive approach is active, or how we coin it — ‘network diplomacy’.”
“The priority today is to achieve a sustainable and unconditional cease-fire in Donbas (eastern Ukraine). The cease-fire regime must be guaranteed, reliable, and on this basis, further steps can be taken,” added the ambassador.
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