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“Temporary cessation of hostilities will be of no use. Truce concluded for several days will merely let the warring parties regroup themselves and go on fighting, the way it happened many times in the past. Such a pause is unnecessary. There should be a substantive, full-fledged ceasefire,” Kelin said.
At the same time, he pointed to “several questions that may arise here.”
“What will the ceasefire mean, on what conditions will it be concluded, will the Ukrainian forces be pulled out from Donetsk and Luhansk and stop shelling, of will all Ukrainian troops leave the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic altogether?” Kelin asked.
“Besides, the Ukrainians keep pressing for the Poroshenko plan. They were doing so in Berlin and after Berlin, but that plan does not contain the amnesty provision,” the Russian diplomat said. “Without an amnesty and political dialogue truce will have no sense at all. It is not accidental that in Minsk (at the meeting of the contact group for Ukraine) one of the DPR and LPR demands was the declaration of unconditional amnesty,” Kelin recalled.
Earlier in the day Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko “to a large extent” agreed on steps that might lead to a ceasefire between the Ukrainian military and the militias. As Russian presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov told ITAR-TASS Putin and Poroshenko exchanged opinions and to a large extent agreed on measures that would facilitated an early ceasefire between the army and militias in the southeast of the country.
Peskov’s commentary followed claims by the Ukrainian presidential press-service to the effect the telephone conversation produced an agreement on a permanent ceasefire in Donbass.
Moscow has said more than once that Russia is not a party to the conflict, which is Ukraine’s purely internal affair.
This is precisely what Putin reiterated last week after talks with Poroshenko in Minsk.
“Frankly speaking, we are not in the position to discuss some ceasefire conditions, about possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. That’s none of our business, but Ukraine’s internal affair.”