By Mick Krever, CNN
As conflict intensifies in Eastern Ukraine, that country’s foreign minister on Wednesday accused Russia of massive interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.
“We have continuous and intentional destabilization of Donetsk and Luhansk,” Pavlo Klimkin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
“They keep saying their influence is limited, but it’s also about continuous inflow of weapons and heavy weaponry from Russia.”
“We have inflow of weapons, of mercenaries, of heavy weaponry – tanks, everything.”
“And as you know, you can probably buy Kalashnikov in a kind of shop on the black market, but you can’t buy tanks or you can’t buy anti-air missiles there.”
Just three weeks ago, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared a unilateral cease-fire and he told Amanpour that he believed peace was possible in a matter of weeks or months.
But separatists did not abide by the cease-fire, and Kiev resumed its assault on the militants.
As the world’s attention has shifted to unrest in Iraq and Israel/Gaza, fighting in Ukraine has only become more deadly. A Ukrainian military transport plane was shot down, and a deadly air strike on a town near the Russian border killed 11.
In Brussels, EU leaders on Wednesday met to discuss the worsening situation and whether to impose fresh sanctions on Russia.
“For me, it’s not just about sanctions – both from the European Union and the United States,” Klimkin said. “For me, it’s about the European Union talking in one voice. For me, it’s about continued solidarity from the European Union.”
“And it’s of course about bold actions.”
The country needs an immediately “bilateral” cease-fire, the foreign minister said.
In an attempt to achieve that, he told Amanpour, the government has been trying to arrange negotiations between the separatists, Kiev, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“We’ve been working on that practically for more than a week. And the real problem is the lack of readiness from the separatist side to meet.”
“And actually six days ago we come up with a creative, innovative idea of having video conference with the separatists – both with Donetsk and Luhansk. And it took us practically six days just to talk about this video conference.”
“Now it’s about Russian influence on the separatists to make profess on this negotiations. From our side … we are the people of peace.”