Russia's government negatively assessed Ukraine's intention to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, warning about possible negative consequences.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin described this intention as "political madness" and irresponsibility.
"In case it [the severance of diplomatic ties] happens, then it would be another one in the series of exercises in political madness and irresponsibility," TASS cited Karasin as saying.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that such a decision was certainly "Ukraine’s sovereign affair," but in case of Kiev’s decision the interests of people in both countries will be harmed.
He recalled that Kiev in recent years "made quite a few steps that had the most negative effects on settling the conflict in the southeast of the country."
"If such a decision is made this time, it will complicate the situation and, what is still more important, it will harm the interests of people in Ukraine and Russia," the spokesman stressed.
Peskov avoided answering the question who in that case might serve as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev, adding that it would be a "hypothetical discussion."
Earlier, some media said the bill on the reintegration of Donbass the Ukrainian parliament was considering had been complemented by an amendment on the severing of diplomatic relations with Russia.
However, the chief of the parliamentary committee on security said that the Verkhovna Rada had no powers to terminate diplomatic relations with other countries and no such amendments to the bill on the reintegration of Donbass had been introduced. Parliament member Ivan Vinnik, the rumored author of the amendments, denied such claims in an interview to the television channel 112.Ukraine. Vinnik said that such an amendment could not have been made at least because the deadline for making such proposals had expired.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Kiev hardly wants to sever diplomatic relations here and now. "Kiev is searching for formats to preserve part of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. From January 1, the visa regime will be introduced only in quasi-format, through registration and biometric passports. They worsen relations between our countries, propagate against their citizens working in Russia, but at the same time they expand trade, buy our coal. Ukraine still cannot exist without Russia, but Kiev does not want to admit it to itself," he stressed.
"If they recognize in Kiev that they are not able to exist without Russia, they will not get support from the West. Hence, all these attacks on Russia, they are designed to demonstrate to the West that Ukraine is determined to continue to deteriorate relations with Moscow. It's an information campaign - in fact, Kiev would like Moscow to sever relations, it will not do it itself. It caused the current situation, when Ukraine issues laws where Russia is called the aggressor, while Ukraine's embassy continues to operate in Moscow," Andrei Suzdaltsev stressed.
The Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, an advisor to the Director General of the MIA ‘Russia Today’ Veronica Krasheninnikova, in turn, noted that Kiev will not sever its diplomatic relations with Russia on its own. "The issue will be decided in the overall context of Kiev's strategy, and not just in Kiev. But for Ukraine the break in diplomatic relations with Russia means giving up attempts to resolve the current crisis politically, that is, returning to an active military conflict. At the same time, the weaker Poroshenko's power, the faster he will aggravate relations with Russia," she stressed.
Thus, the severance of diplomatic relations with Russia can be used for two purposes. "On the one hand, Poroshenko can do it in order to consolidate his internal position. On the other hand, the US can play this card against Russia. In the context of the presidential elections in Russia, any provocation will be useful for the US, and in view of the approach of the electoral campaign chances that Ukraine will make such a decision are rising," Veronika Krasheninnikova concluded.