Brussels could encourage Kiev to refrain from “massive shelling” of Donbass and from committing “other gross violations” of international law, Russian President Vladimir Putin told European Council President Charles Michel on Thursday.
During a lengthy phone call, held amid the ongoing Russian offensive in Ukraine, the two leaders discussed the latest developments on the ground, including Putin’s decision to call off the assault on Azovstal plant in Mariupol and Russia’s efforts to protect civilians, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Among other things, Putin brought Michel’s attention to the “irresponsible statements of the EU representatives about the need to resolve the situation in Ukraine by military means,” apparently referring to the recent controversial statement by the top EU diplomat Josep Borrel.
“It was noted that Brussels could influence the Kiev authorities in order to force them to stop the massive shelling of Donbass settlements and other gross violations of international humanitarian law,” the statement reads.
The Russian president also criticized EU officials for allegedly “ignoring” the purported “numerous war crimes of the Ukrainian security forces,” as well as for “openly supporting” Russophobia.