The Ukrainian president's decision to reclaim Donetsk Airport, a key strategic point in the conflict in the country's east, are in violation of the Minsk peace deal, says the Kremlin.
Petro Poroshenko vowed on Monday to take the airport back: "I have no doubt - we will free the airport, because it is our land. And we will rebuild the airport." He also promised to erect a monument to the "cyborgs," which has become a common nickname for the Ukrainian soldiers that fought against the forces of the self-proclaimed eastern republics for control of Donetsk Airport.
Poroshenko spoke at the premier of the documentary "Airport", which was dedicated to the siege.
When asked if he thinks such words violate the Minsk peace deal, the Russian president's press secretary said they do: "Of course, they are a violation. In fact, we have repeatedly said that Ukraine is not complying with the Minsk agreement."
As part of the Minsk deal, the sides agreed to move heavy weapons away from a demarcation line drawn across eastern Ukraine. The self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic says this leaves the airport in its territory. Its representative to Minsk Denis Pushilin says Poroshenko's vow to reclaim the airport is a call to arms: "This is a direct violation of the Minsk agreements and a call to military action. We ask that the guarantor nations pay attention to these statements."
Donetsk Airport has been one of the hottest flashpoints in the conflict in eastern Ukraine for about eight months. In January, Kiev admitted its forces completely surrendered the airport.
During the lengthy siege the airport was reduced to rubble. The casualty count is impossible to verify, with the two sides giving vastly different numbers, both saying they had lost dozens while claiming the opponent had lost hundreds.