RT: Putin warns 'Srebrenica-type massacre' possible if Kyiv takes border control

RT: Putin warns 'Srebrenica-type massacre' possible if Kyiv takes border control

RT: Putin warns 'Srebrenica-type massacre' possible if Kyiv takes border control Izvor: Tanjug / Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP

The Russian President Vladimir Putin told the presidential Council for Human Rights on Tuesday, that "if Kyiv gets control of the rebel-held border, a Srebrenica-type massacre may follow," Moscow's state Russia Today TV reported.

The TV added that Russia was concerned that if that happened on the border with eastern Ukraine without firm guarantees for the anti-government militia, such a massacre could happen.

"We agreed [on the roadmap] in 2015. They have an amnesty law, some decisions have been taken, but nothing has been put into force," Putin told the presidential human rights council.

Without guarantees, "I can imagine what would happen next. There will be a Srebrenica," RT quoted Putin as saying.

Putin warned about a possibility of grave consequences after, as RT said, his first-ever meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris.

The main topic on the agenda was "reconciliation between the Ukrainian government and the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics, which border Russia, the TV said.

It added that "the roadmap to peace under the so-called Minsk Agreements includes a constitutional reform, an amnesty of rebel militias, and an election of MPs to the Ukrainian parliament to represents residents of the breakaway regions. The final step would be for Ukrainian troops to take control of the border. Kyiv has agreed to the roadmap, but says the border takeover must come first."

However, Putin said he was not certain that Zelensky would be able to keep control over Ukrainian radical nationalists.

"We have seen the way Zelensky talks to the nationalists, and it's not clear who has the upper hand there," RT quoted Putin as saying.

"There is no certainty what would happen and who will be in command of those nationalists once they enter [breakaway] territories without a safety guarantee."

RT recalled that Zelensky was elected on a promise to bring peace to eastern Ukraine and his administration implemented the disengagement of forces in parts of the frontline and negotiating an exchange of prisoners, but the nationalist didn't like it.

 What RT refers to as 'the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica,' now part of the Serb-controlled entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was declared a genocide by two international courts. Belgrade also described it as a massacre and refused to accept the courts' ruling.

Bosnian Serb wartime commander Ratko Mladic was charged with the Srebrenica genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment by The Hague Tribunal in the first instance in November 2017, with the appeal pending.        

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