DONETSK, September 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) said on Monday they will make every effort to preserve Ukraine's unity if Kiev accepts their demands.
Representatives of LPR and DNR have made public their position for the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk that begins later on Monday.
They say “equal talks are the only acceptable means for the settlement of the conflict and restoration of peace”. They also base on principles worked out at the Geneva meeting of representatives from Russia, the US, the European Union and Ukraine on April 17, 2014.
Vice-Premier of the DPR Andrei Purgin said on Monday he brought proposals for the contact group’s meeting to reduce the duration of combat operations and the number of victims. “I’ve arrived here with proposals to find common points. They contain eight or nine points,” Purgin said before the contact group’s session. “These are initial proposals for the consultations,” he added.
Purgin said he did not expect a major breakthrough at the Minsk meeting. “This is an initial stage. It can hardly end with something drastically big,” he added.
What Donetsk and Luhansk demand
The list of demands that was made public ahead of the meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine includes the recognition of the special status of the republics' territories and the Russian language, as well as the end of Kiev's anti-terrorist operation and holding free elections in the region.
Donetsk and Luhansk have also demanded amnesty for militia and political prisoners, along with a special status for their military units and right to appoint judges and prosecutors.
DPR and LPR speak for preserving common economic, cultural and political space with Ukraine, if their conditions are accepted. They want special foreign economic status, considering its deeper integration with Russia and the Customs Union.
Contact Group on Ukraine
A new round of consultations of the so-called Contact Group on Ukraine opened in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Monday to search for ways to settle the crisis in the war-torn southe-astern Ukraine.
The Contact Group is represented by Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office on Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini. Taking part in the consultations are vice premier of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Andrei Purgin and the chairman of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, Valery Karyakin.