Russian authorities said Friday that Ukraine had again violated a peace agreement and warned that continuing violations could result in full-scale violent clashes, Tass, Russia's state news agency, reported. Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin warned Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ensure that all Ukrainians followed the peace agreements, especially ahead of local elections in Russian and Ukraine in the fall.
"OSCE observers often registered ceasefire violations, and experts repeatedly warned about the possibility of new wave of full-scale armed clashes," said Naryshkin, as reported by Tass. Ukraine has said pro-Russian rebels were the ones responsible for breaking the Minsk agreement, a peace pact signed by Russia and Ukraine in September 2014.
Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, formerly part of Ukraine, and has reportedly backed pro-Russian separatists in the country, who have been planning on holding their own elections within Ukraine this fall, likely fueling civil tensions in the nation. Eight people have been killed and several wounded in fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine over the past several weeks.
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) August 27, 2015
The original Minsk agreement was violated just five days after it was signed in September and has been criticized by international leaders for not effectively keeping the peace. A revamped version of the agreement was signed in February, which included provisions for a ceasefire, removal of heavy weapons and constitutional reform. This version of the agreement has also been violated, with tensions escalating throughout August.
French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have continued to mediate talks between Russian and Ukrainian leaders in hopes that the terms of the Minsk agreement are followed. International leaders have been attempting to prevent full-scale clashes between the two nations from breaking out on the border and Naryshkin's statement made clear how Russia would react to perceived aggression from Ukraine.