Latvian ambassador to Ukraine Argita Daudze (pic: flickr)
The cost of the Ukraine crisis amounts to around 750 million U.S. dollars (558 million euros) Latvia's ambassador to Ukraine Argita Daudze has revealed.
Despite the large number of civilian deaths, 'atrocities' committed by pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine have not subsided, Daudze said.
The latest report from the United Nations on Ukraine reports that 1,129 people in Ukraine have been killed and 3,442 injured.
''The information we have received about the mass graves in Luhansk is terrifying, and the information we have heard about what is happening on the battle fields makes me shiver," the ambassador told the Neatkariga newspaper.
"For example, according to eyewitnesses, the bodies of those found in the mass grave in Luhansk show that they were brutally tortured. Those in the conflict zone have told about the activities of the ''bandits'', like, for example, rounding up local girls and raping them,'' the diplomat said.
She also pointed out that even the downed Malaysia Airlines airliner has not improved the situation. A total of 298 people died after the plane was allegedly bought down by missiles.
''Facts show that that the violence being carried out by the separatists has not subsided. According to information from Ukrainian security services and the United States, heavy weaponry from Russian continues to be flooded into the country, and the volume of weapons being smuggled in is larger than before.
"Unfortunately, this tragedy, which took the lives of many innocents victims who did not have any connection to the situation in Ukraine, has not lessened the appetite of those committing the atrocities in the country,'' Daudze points out.
Moscow has repeatedly denied supporting militia forces in turbulent Ukrainian regions in the southeast of the country, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.
Russia has also condemned Kiev’s military campaign against the population in the east of the country and urged for an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Moscow also plans to propose the urgent creation of a humanitarian mission for violence-plagued eastern Ukraine to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.
Russia has participated in several contact group meetings on Ukraine with European partners and OSCE representatives, aiming to find ways to bring the conflicting sides of Ukrainian crisis to the negotiating table.
However, Daudze says that the Ukrainian Parliament last week urged the international community to declared the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk ''republics'' terrorist organizations, which has already gained support from the United States.
She emphasized that such a decision would allow the Ukrainian authorities to more actively move forward with its anti-terrorist operations.
''Those sponsoring and supporting terrorist organizations will suffer severe consequences. The Ukrainian government has declared the unrecognized leaderships in Luhansk and Donetsk as terrorist organizations, and no talks are to be held with terrorists,'' she said.
''The Ukrainian government has defined the operation in these regions as anti-terrorist operations. The so-called leaders of the Luhansk and Donetsk ''republic'' are not freedom fighters, but common criminals. There is much evidence that these persons have criminal backgrounds, and are being supported by Russia,'' the diplomat points out.