Ukraine 'Frozen Conflict' Could Hurt Europe: Foreign Minister Klimkin

Ukraine 'Frozen Conflict' Could Hurt Europe: Foreign Minister Klimkin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine warned the European Union on Wednesday not to accept pro-Russian rebels carving out a de facto state and said that unlike other “frozen conflicts” in the former Soviet Union it could destabilize all of Europe.

Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, speaking to Reuters during a visit with EU and NATO officials in Brussels, urged Moscow to dissuade separatists from holding their own elections in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk next month. He said local people would do better to vote in local elections organised by Kiev in December.

“Fake elections” organised by leaders of self-styled, pro-Russian people’s republics would, Klimkin said, reinforce the appearance that eastern Ukraine is becoming a long-term “frozen conflict” like Transdniestria or Abkhazia, Moscow-backed breakaway regions of former-Soviet Moldova and Georgia.

“A frozen conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk, let us not have any illusions, could not be stabilised as for example Transdniestria or Abkhazia … It would bring us more instability, more detribalization, not only for the whole of Ukraine but for the whole of Europe,” Klimkin said.

He insisted he was not saying so to “blackmail” western European states into stepping up actions, such as economic sanctions, against Russia, or to get NATO to increase non-military assistance to Kiev.

Read more at Reuters


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