European countries, particularly Germany, should not encourage Kiev's feeling of permissiveness, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post.
Lavrov said that there are contradictory signals from Ukraine's President Vladimir Zelensky and his team about settlement in Donbass. "We hope that a realistic approach prevails in Kiev," he said. "We are ready to cooperate with Ukraine on the basis of pragmatism and respect for inherent interests of our peoples, TASS reports.
Europeans, in particualr Germany, should not encourage Kiev's feeling of permissiveness, ignore mass violations of human rights in Ukraine and Ukrainian leadership's reluctance to implement the Minsk Agreements," he added. "In this sense, Germany bears part of the responsibility for settling the intra-Ukrainian conflict," he noted.
One should admit that Ukraine's Western partners, instead of encouraging Kiev to implement the Minsk Agreements, "have been in fact condoning its actions directed at delaying the implementation of Minsk accords for the past five years," Lavrov continued.
"They [Western partners] have in fact pretended not to see such shameful sides of the Ukrainian reality as the resurgence of neo-Nazism, restrictions on the use of the Russian language, crackdown on independent media," the foreign minister said.
Lavrov expressed hope that real progress can be made in Donbass settlement if there is political will. "I agree with the statement made by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that the disengagement of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya at the end of July shows the possibility of progress on the path to peace. It is important to build on this success, including when working on resolution of other important issues, such as establishing a full ceasefire," he concluded.