Russia Says Ukraine 'Broke Geneva Accord'
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine of violating the Geneva agreement adopted last week, after an incident in the Ukrainian town of Slaviansk left three dead.
Its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared Kiev had not taken steps to disarm armed groups, which was one of the points in April 17's deal aiming at de-escalating tensions in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Lavrov was quoted by the BBC as saying that "extremists" were "calling the tune" in Ukraine, referring to the ultra-nationalist Right Sector, which Russia claims has committed atrocities both at the Maidan during February's protests and in Eastern Ukraine since pro-Russian separatists started occupying government buildings and setting up barricades there.
He also said that "not only did Kiev authorities fail to comply with obligations under the Geneva agreements, but also violated them", ITAR-TASS has reported.
The Foreign Minister also claimed that the Ukrainian leadership did not exert the slightest effort to "remove the reasons for the deep crisis".
Lavrov believes that Kiev "is either incapable or reluctant to control extremists".
In his view, continued attacks at rebels in the east of Ukraine could trigger "a civil war", and Russia would "not only condemn but [also] thwart" such attempts.
No deadline to disarm illegal groups operating across Ukraine was introduced with April 17's Geneva accord, when Ukraine, Russia, the EU and the US approved measures to deal with the crisis.
Last week's agreement also stipulated that pro-Russian rebels withdraw from occupied buildings across eastern and southern Ukrainian towns and cities, a condition which activists have vowed to reject unless the government in Kiev resigns.