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Attempts to revise role of Donbass will trigger negative consequences, expert warns

October 31, 13:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, US special envoy told Ukraine’s television that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics should not take part in the discussion on the UN mission’s mandate

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MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. The stance of US special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker that representatives of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics should not take part in discussing the mandate of UN mission in the region runs counter to the Minsk peace deal, Director of the Center for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov said.

"The statement by representatives of the Donbass republics that the opinion of the Donetsk and Lugansk authorities on the UN forces’ mandate cannot be ignored is fully in line with the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements. The comments of Mr. Volker contradict these agreements," Chesnakov said.

The expert recalled that the Minsk peace deal was signed in February 2015 with the direct participation of representatives of the republics.

"Talks of the Contact Group are also held with their participation. The successful result of this process on settling the conflict is also impossible without them. Any attempts to revise the role of representatives of the republics or hints at this may have far reaching negative consequences," the expert said.

He also noted that a UN mission may be deployed only after the disengagement of forces on the contact line and passing the law on a special status of the region, which should be endorsed by Donbass and in line with the Steinmeier formula for Ukrainian settlement confirmed by the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).

On Monday, Volker told Ukraine’s television that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics should not take part in the discussion on the UN mission’s mandate. The representatives of the self-proclaimed republics to the Minsk talks, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, issued a joint statement on Tuesday condemning the US diplomat’s approach.

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