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Kuchma: DPR, LPR envoys threatened in Minsk to resume full-scale fighting

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Kuchma: DPR, LPR envoys threatened in Minsk to resume full-scale fighting
Photo: Reuters

Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics have threatened during the Saturday consultations in Minsk to resume full-scale fighting along the frontline if their demands are not met, Ukraine's second President Leonid Kuchma has said.

"They demanded that the Ukrainian president issue an order on unilateral ceasefire, and threatened to resume full-scale fighting along the frontline if this ultimatum is not met," he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Envoys Denis Pushylin of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Vladyslav Deineho of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic also demanded, Kuchma said, that the contact line be defined as it was documented on January 31, not September 19 2014 in the Minsk accords. "They did not say anything when they were asked to provide guarantees that the contact line would not be altered in any way again," Kuchma said.

Kuchma further said that the Donetsk and Luhansk republics' envoys were unfamiliar with the Ukrainian action plan to implement the Minsk Memorandum. "We sent this plan to all parties in advance, but, for some reason, it was not shown to these representatives," he said.

The position assumed by the Donetsk and Luhansk republics' envoys is also at odds with the Russian position, he said. President Vladimir Putin held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Saturday and expressed the hope that the Minsk meeting would produce agreements, Kuchma said.

"We are therefore waiting for Russia's reaction," he said.

Talks were held in Minsk on Saturday evening between Ukraine's representative, ex-president Leonid Kuchma, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics Pushylin and Deineho. No final document was signed.

"Today's consultations under the plan for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which lists concrete measures to achieve the earliest possible de-escalation of the situation, have been aborted due to the non-arrival of Alexander Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnytsky, who are signatories to the Minsk documents, to ultimatums from their representatives Denis Pushylin and Vladyslav Deineho, and to their refusal to discuss the plan of measures for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy armaments," Kuchma told Interfax-Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian side does not accept any ultimatums or preconditions. Our position on the peaceful settlement of the situation in individual districts of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk remains unchanged: complete and strict compliance with the agreements that were made in writing in Minsk on September 5 and September 19, 2014, starting with an immediate ceasefire," he said.

Kuchma said he expected an early reaction from Russia.

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