Russia: West Unwilling to Answer Questions About Its Mercenaries in Ukraine
TEHRAN (FNA)- Western countries are reluctant to answer Russia’s questions about their mercenaries in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
"As [Russian Ambassador to London Andrey] Kelin said, they [Western countries] are writing some provocative, boorish things. They don’t want to answer the question we ask about their activities," she stated in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Solovyov on the Rossiya-1 television channel, when asked whether the United States and the United Kingdom have contacted Russia concerning their nationals who are taking part in combat operations in Ukraine.
According to Zakharova, the West is doing its utmost to continue the conflict in Ukraine as long as possible.
"They are sparing no effort so that the conflict in Ukraine continued as long as possible. We remember what US 43rd President George Bush Jr said: Ukraine’s mission is to kill as many Russians as possible. They have endowed Ukraine and the Kiev regime with this duty. They are using (Ukraine) as an instrument and the entire logistics are centered round that - weapons supplies, sending people, anything to keep the conflict burning, as [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson told [French President Emmanuel] Macron today, to prevent the settlement of this situation. Otherwise, their plan will fail," she added.
In Mid-June, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said mercenaries and military specialists from 64 countries are involved in hostilities in Ukraine, adding, about 2,000 foreign mercenaries are known to have been killed.
Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.