February 25, 2015 / 9:59 AM / 3 years ago

Russia says many in Kiev want Ukraine peace deal to fail

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is concerned that many people in Kiev and outside Ukraine want a peace deal in the east of the country to fail, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Military trucks from the Ukrainian armed forces transport tanks on the road near Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Lavrov also called for the OSCE security watchdog to observe the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine under the Feb. 12 peace deal agreed in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

Pro-Russian separatists say they have begun the withdrawal but Kiev says its forces will not do so until fighting stops and that the rebels are using the cover of the truce to reinforce for another advance.

“A lot now depends on an honest, objective, unbiased approach by the observers who must record what is happening on the ground, so that we can all resist the attempts to present the Minsk agreements as having already failed.” Lavrov said at talks with Gerard Larcher, chairman of France’s senate.

“There are many people outside Ukraine and in Kiev who want them derailed,” he said.

Writing by Timothy Heritage, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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