MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not intervene with its military in the Ukrainian conflict and supports only a peaceful resolution of the crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“There will be no military intervention, we support exclusively a peaceful settlement of this difficult crisis, of this tragedy. Everything that we’re doing is targeted at pushing through political approaches,” Lavrov said.
Ukrainian and Western officials have repeatedly accused Russia of providing aid for independence forces in eastern Ukraine, or even of a direct military intervention. On August 28, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed, “Russian troops were brought into Ukraine.” Also on Thursday, NATO released what it claims to be the satellite images showing Russian hardware in Ukrainian territory.
Last week, Lavrov stressed that claims about Russia's military presence in Ukraine were wrong. “Accusations have been heard before, we have been accused from practically the very beginning of the crisis that we are to blame, so we’ve heard these tales several times, but no one has ever presented any evidence [of Russian troops in Ukraine],” the minister said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia “will in no way interfere,” in Ukraine's regional policies.
Russia's Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe envoy Andrei Kelin denied any presence of Russian troops and hardware in Ukraine, calling such allegations “imaginary.”
Since mid-April, Kiev has been carrying out a special operation against eastern Ukraine’s pro-independence movement. According to the latest UN estimates, the operation has left about 2,500 killed and 6,000 injured. Russia has called Kiev’s actions punitive and urged the international community to help organize a ceasefire and dialogue between both parties.