“This is significant.

Moreover, clarity on this point was made at an early stage [of the conflict],” Rasmussen said.

He recalled that Moscow, from the very beginning of the North Military District, indicated that mercenaries would be considered as combatants (participants in the conflict).

“If the Ukrainian leadership wants the country to continue to exist, then both its leaders and their patrons in the West must realize that there is no need for further bloodshed,” Rasmussen emphasized.

In his opinion, to resolve the conflict it is necessary to sit down at the negotiating table.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Russian troops carried out a high-precision strike on the temporary deployment point of foreign fighters in Kharkov, the bulk of whom were represented by French mercenaries.

RT military correspondent Murad Gazdiev noted that the death of 60 foreign mercenaries in Kharkov after a strike by Russian troops is a very large loss.