Iran urges restraint from all sides in Ukraine crisis
Diplomatic and peaceful means, according to Saeed Khatibzadeh, is the way to go.
As tensions escalate in Ukraine, Iran's foreign ministry urged all players to contain themselves and look towards a resolution rather than conflict.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, said Tuesday that Iran is closely following the developments in Ukraine, advising that any action which has the potential to escalate tensions in the region should be avoided, and that it is essential that all sides seek solutions to their issues through diplomatic and peaceful means.
Khatibzadeh, furthermore, said that NATO's intrusive and provocative measures, led by Washington, "have unfortunately made conditions in the region more complicated."
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the autonomy and sovereignty of Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine as independent republics, ordering Russia's defense ministry to deploy Russian troops to the regions.
Putin referred to eastern Ukraine as "ancient Russian lands" and said that it was managed by foreign powers.
"I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago - to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic," he said.
Upon the recognition of the two regions, Putin signed treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid with Donetsk's leader, Denis Pushilin and Lugansk's leader, Leonid Pasechnik.
Russian troops were deployed to "keep the peace" after their independence from Ukraine, with the signing of a decree which gave Russia the right to build military bases in the regions.
In Putin's speech which was aired on television, the Russian president expressed his grievances with the West's approach toward the conflict, contending that the recognition of the two regions was a direct consequence of the failure to comply with the 2014 Minsk agreements.
The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) accused Kiev of repeatedly shelling the Donbas region with 120mm mortars which are banned by the Minsk agreements.
"Everyday they are amassing troops in Donbas," Putin said. Addressing NATO countries supporting Ukraine, he said, "They are not interested in peaceful solutions – they want to start a blitzkrieg”.
Putin denounced Ukraine's threat to join NATO, saying that such a decision is an "immediate threat of attack" on Russia.