Gryzlov: Kiev’s “party of war” is dead set on electoral provocations

A number of Ukrainian politicians on the eve of the presidential election are set to carry out provocations in the Donbas, says representative of the Russian Federation in the contact group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov.

“The coming year promises to be difficult and because of the upcoming political events in Ukraine, especially the presidential elections. Last year’s experience confirms that the Kiev” party of war “is set up for electoral provocations,” Gryzlov said following the talks of the contact group on Thursday.

According to him, in such circumstances, the importance of the contact group “as a platform for dialogue between the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk”.

The Russian delegation as one of the mediators, along with the OSCE, will continue to convince the parties that there is no alternative to a political settlement envisaged by the Minsk agreements. The resolution of the conflict in the Donbas can only be ensured by political means, only by implementing the set of measures,” Gryzlov added.

 Russia hopes the West will appreciate the election campaign in Ukraine

He stressed that the special status of Donbass, with the introduction of it according to the formula of former German Foreign Minister, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and other obligations of Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreements “are decisive conditions for resolving the conflict.”

Presidential elections will be held in Ukraine on March 31. The election campaign began on December 31, on the same day the nomination of candidates for the presidency and the submission of documents to the CEC for their registration began. The current president Petro Poroshenko has not officially announced his intention to run for a second term.