Russia likes being an aggressor in Ukraine, they just do not like being called an aggressor in Ukraine.
Once the title is formalized in Ukraine law, it becomes more difficult for Russia to legally counter and could subsequently become labeled a “rogue state”, similar to North Korea, in international forums.
As long as Russia is unencumbered with the titles of rogue state, sponsor of terror, or aggressor state against another sovereign state – all of which are applicable, it can operate relatively freely.
The Kremlin did not like the new law of Ukraine on de-occupation, where Russia is called an aggressor state, and it believes that this document contradicts the Minsk agreements, the Kremlin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said, answering a question from an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.
“This law, which is still a bill, to be more precise, as far as we understand and according to the information we have, is of a very declarative nature. There is an article where the Russian Federation is called an aggressor, and there is no mention of Minsk agreements there. From the legal perspective, of course, such a wording can neither de jure nor de facto be acceptable for us,” Peskov said.
According to him, calling Russia an aggressor state contradicts the letter and spirit of Minsk accords as there is “no such definition in the Minsk agreements, while the Russian side is a signee, namely, the guarantor of these Minsk agreements.”
Peskov believes that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who signed the relevant declaration in Minsk, thereby “agreed with this fact.”
“There is a legal contradiction taking place, and we are stating this,” he said.
At the same time, Peskov said that the extension of the “special status” of the occupied areas of Donbas “is important”, since the expiry of the previous law was “a matter of concern” to all.
Peskov has reiterated Russia’s commitment to Minsk-2, saying that Moscow continues to regard these agreements as a non-alternative foundation based on which it is possible to try to move toward “the terms of the settlement.”