UNITED NATIONS, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin has criticized the speech delivered by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the UN General Assembly.
"It is strange that the Ukrainian prime minister, instead of resolving the numerous problems of his country, which is approaching an economic collapse, has headed to New York to address a half-empty [UN] General Assembly hall late at night," Churkin told the press on Wednesday.
Russia's representative to the United Nations also noted the oddity of what he called a "melodramatic" appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin made by Yatsenyuk at the end of his speech.
"Yatsenyuk, probably, forgot that the president of Ukraine is Petro Poroshenko, who has been conducting an intensive dialogue with President Putin lately. The dialogue, that made possible the recent Minsk Agreements, we hope will open a way to reconciliation of the protracted crisis in Ukraine," Churkin argued.
The Ukrainian prime minister criticized Russia's stance on Ukraine and concluded his address with a direct appeal to Russia's leader.
"Mr. Putin, you can win the battle against the troops, but you will never defeat the people – the united Ukrainian nation," Yatsenyuk said.
Following almost five months of clashes, the Ukrainian government and the pro-independence forces of southeastern Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement during the September 5 meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine.
Another round of talks among the group's members, including Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held in Minsk last week, resulted in the adoption of a nine-point memorandum, specifying the ceasefire.
Kiev and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict and even of a military intervention. The claims have been denounced by top Russian officials as groundless.