No progress in implementing the Minsk peace deal has been achieved under Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Argumenty i Fakty newspaper published on Tuesday.
"Things are bad regarding the Normandy format. We can say that under President Zelensky things haven't budged either in fulfilling the Minsk Package of Measures or in further agreements achieved in Paris," Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman also noted that tensions have been mounting on the contact line. "Over the past six months we have heard many times that Kiev considered the Minsk agreements as dead, that this deal cannot be fulfilled and new documents were needed and so on. This is probably the most dangerous thing," Peskov stressed, noting that apart from the Minsk agreements there was no other basis for building international efforts for settlement in Donbass, TASS reports.
Peskov also expressed hope that tensions in Donbass would not spiral into fighting.
Tensions escalate in Donbass
The situation around the village of Shumy, in the Donetsk Region, deteriorated on March 26, when four Ukrainian military servicemen were killed there. Kiev blamed their death on the militias in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, while Donetsk denied the responsibility for the incident. Later, the Donetsk militias said that the Ukrainian servicemen were killed by the explosion of a land mine while examining minefields.
Near the village of Shumy there lies a water pipeline bringing water from the Northern Donets canal to consumers on both sides of the engagement line. Some sections of the water pipeline have repeatedly come under the Ukrainian army’s shelling, which caused water supply disruptions and damage to life support facilities in the DPR. In 2020, Donetsk repeatedly said that in violation of the extra measures for the control of ceasefire the Ukrainian army was building fortifications and bringing its positions closer to the aqueduct with the intention of establishing control of the area.