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Ukraine’s president must personally control observance of ceasefire - Pushkov

September 06, 2014, 1:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Donetsk and Lugansk, the capital cities of self-proclaimed people’s republics, should discuss their future with Kiev, the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee said

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

MOSCOW, September 06, /ITAR-TASS/. A senior Russian legislator believes it is Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s personal duty to see to it the Ukrainian military and national guard comply with the terms of the just-concluded ceasefire agreement.

“On the militias’ side that must be done by the heads of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, but as for Ukraine’s forces, they should be under the president’s control,” Alexey Pushkov, the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee said on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock news channel.

He dismissed as utterly unacceptable any speculations to the effect Poroshenko does not control the National Guard or the battalions on the payroll of (big business tycoon) Igor Kolomoisky.

“He is obliged to keep them under control. Otherwise, what sort of president is he, if he is unable to control armed groups acting on behalf of his state?” Pushkov said.

“If there are some ‘wild squads’ created by some other forces, I believe that time is ripe for the Ukrainian president to sort things out with the forces that control them,” Pushkov said.

In his opinion the further events in Ukraine will depend on the extent to which Poroshenko controls the army and, in particular, the illegal armed groups, and if Kolomoisky or other political figures in the territory of Ukraine, who claim that the military operation must go on will be able to override the president’s will, how strong the president’s will is, and if he is seriously minded about reconciliation.”

By and large Pushkov is certain that the “phase of hostilities in Ukraine has come to its logical outcome, or is about to end.”

“One has the impression the ceasefire agreements look far more fundamental than those concluded before,” he added.

Donetsk and Lugansk, the capital cities of self-proclaimed people’s republics, should discuss their future with Kiev in order to get greater autonomy, said Pushkov.

Asked about the future of the area that these days is often referred to by its informal name Novorossiya, the legislator explained that it was a question for discussion between the two regions’ representatives and Kiev.

“They are the two parties to the conflict and they should settle between themselves what status the regions will have,” Pushkov believes.

“Naturally, the demands voiced by the local population must be taken into account to the full extent,” Pushkov said, adding that those demands looked quite fair to him.

“The way I see it, there must certainly be a greater level of autonomy than the regions had previously. What that level should be like and how it will be called is a matter for the negotiating parties to decide,” Pushkov reiterated.

Also, he warned against putting too much emphasis on whether future talks should revolve around the question whether the new status should be granted to the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions or only those parts of them the armed militias controlled at the moment.

“Too much emphasis on such details will upset the efforts to achieve an agreement on what is most important today - a ceasefire,” Pushkov said. “What territories will be in focus - those under the militias’ control or the entire territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions should be a subject matter of further talks.

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