It's time for Russia to stop 'theatre of the absurd' in peace talks with Ukraine — U.S. | QHA media
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17 July 2020, 12:01

It's time for Russia to stop 'theatre of the absurd' in peace talks with Ukraine — U.S.

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Russia must match the political will demonstrated by Ukraine on the road to peace in Donbas, stop the current “theatre of the absurd” and cease its efforts to hamper progress in peace negotiations, U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE James Gilmore has said.

He said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, July 16.

“It is time for Russia to match the political will demonstrated by Ukraine and cease its efforts to hamper progress in peace negotiations and on the ground in eastern Ukraine. Instead, we only see Russia engaging in obstruction. It is time to bring down the curtain on this ‘theatre of the absurd,’ to borrow a phrase from our Russian colleagues,” Gilmore said.

He stressed that only when Russia upholds its Minsk commitments will it be possible to see lasting peace and an end to human suffering in eastern Ukraine.

Gilmore said that more than seven months have now passed since the Normandy Quartet leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France met in Paris on December 9 and agreed on measures aimed at supporting a peaceful resolution of this Russian-manufactured conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people. The implementation of a full and comprehensive ceasefire – which the Normandy leaders agreed to before the end of 2019 – is now more than six months overdue. In the interim, the residents of eastern Ukraine have endured thousands of ceasefire violations that have caused dozens of casualties and damaged homes, churches, schools, and critical infrastructure.

The U.S. diplomat also gave an example of the recent death of a woman in Zaitseve and expressed concern about the July 14 killing of a Ukrainian medic, also in Zaitseve, who was shot by Russia-led forces while attempting to retrieve a fallen fellow soldier.

“The cause of all casualties in eastern Ukraine, military and civilian, can be traced to Russia’s failure to instruct the forces it arms, trains, finances, leads, and fights alongside to implement a comprehensive ceasefire, as agreed at the December 9 Normandy summit,” Gilmore said.