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Luhansk and Donetsk republics may start negotiating their political status with Kiev soon

September 10, 2014, 16:19 UTC+3 LUGANSK
Igor Plotnitsky made it clear that there was no way for the two republics to return to the previous status that had existed before the May 11 referendums
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Igor Plotnitsky, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic

Igor Plotnitsky, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic

© ITAR-TASS/BelTA/Natalia Ablozhei

LUHANSK, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kiev authorities and the leaderships of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) may meet soon to discuss the republics’ political status, Igor Plotnitsky, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), said on Wednesday.

“I would like to say that the state status of the LPR and DPR was not a separate item on the agenda of Minsk consultations. It may become the subject of next rounds of talks, which may continue in the near future,” he said.

Plotnitsky made it clear that there was no way for the two republics to return to the previous status that had existed before the May 11 referendums in which most people in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions voted for independence from Ukraine.

“Neither we nor our friends in Donetsk are planning to give up our course towards building our own statehood. Temporary ceasefire cannot cancel the results of people’s will. The people of the Donbas region univocally voted for the independence of our two republics (from Ukraine). So, there can be no return to their previous status,” Plotnitsky explained.

At the same time, Plotnitsky admitted that the road to true independence was going to “be long and hard.”

He said the fact that representatives of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics had been invited to the talks as an equal party signaled the indirect recognition of the two republics, which are calling themselves Novorossiya.

“We should be able to understand the position of the opposite side. We are counting on the support of our people which they expressed at the referendum. The internal political situation (in Kiev) is much more complicated. Everything there is boiling. Therefore, the authorities in Kiev are resorting to all kinds of tricks in a bid to hide the true state of things behind complicated legal wordings,” Plotnitsky said.

The protocol which the Contract Group for Ukrainian settlement adopted in Minsk contains a provision about a special status of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. It also implies that Ukraine is supposed to pass a special law granting this special status to the two self-proclaimed republics.

“I want everybody to understand that Ukraine is going to pass this law for itself. We have settled the question of our status once and for all. It is formulated in the Declaration on the state sovereignty (of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics) and we are not going to back down on our decision,” Plotnitsky said, adding the two republics had no plans to sever its relations with Ukraine.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
"We will always be neighbors. Many of our citizens have relatives and friends left in Ukraine. We are going to build mutually beneficial contacts in the economic, humanitarian and cultural spheres. But only on conditions of equal partnership,” the head of the Luhansk People’s Republic went on to say.

“We have made our choice. We are part of the Russian world and we are not its worst part. The Russian world, the family of Slavic peoples, is our home, and no one can prevent us from returning home,” Plotnitsky stressed.

The Contact Group for the Ukrainian settlement signed a ceasefire protocol that ended fighting in Donbas in Minsk on September 5.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said after the Ukrainian government meeting that despite putting its signature under the Minsk protocol, “Ukraine had not made any concessions in questions of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“We remain a composite and unitary state. Federalization is not in question,” Poroshenko said.

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