Kiev accuses Russia of not wanting Ukraine peace

Kiev accuses Russia of not wanting Ukraine peace
This picture taken on April 23, 2015 shows a bus stop damaged during shelling in front of a shell damaged under construction church, in the village of Pesky near Donetsk.

KIEV - Ukraine accused Russia on Friday of resisting a peaceful end to fighting in eastern Ukraine and called for weapons from its allies, saying it is striving to settle the separatist conflict.

"The situation is difficult. Russia does not want peace," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told parliament.

He accused Moscow of failing to uphold a ceasefire agreement reached in the Belarussian capital Minsk in February.

"We have done everything we can to fulfil the Minsk accords. But the Russian side has made no concessions in order to de-escalate the situation," he said.

Kiev and the West accuse Russia of sending arms and fighters to help separatists who have taken control of parts of eastern Ukraine - a charge Moscow denies.

"We have to prepare ourselves to fight further for peace," Yatsenyuk said, calling on Ukraine's Western partners to supply it with weapons.

"We are fighting for the peace of the whole world, against Russian aggression." The United States and some European countries have sent equipment and military trainers to help Ukrainian forces but have so far resisted sending weapons for fear of escalating the conflict.

The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people in the past year and displaced more than a million, according to the United Nations.

Despite the ceasefire deal, European OSCE observers say there are still exchanges of heavy artillery at the front by both sides.

With spring arriving, some Ukrainian officials fear fighting will surge anew once Russia's large-scale celebrations of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II on May 9 are out of the way.

On Wednesday, the United States accused Russia of building up its forces along the border with Ukraine, boosting air defence systems in the country and training Ukrainian rebels in the east.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Russia had raised the amount of air defence equipment in Ukraine to the highest level since August.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov denied the claim, Interfax news agency reported.

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