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CHISINAU, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine clearly realize that there would be no eventual winners in case of war.
“Deep in my soul I believe that there will be no war. Because nobody wants it,” Lukashenko said.
Speaking about Russia’s alleged involvement in the military activities in the southeast of Ukraine Lukashenko said “Russia never fought there.”
“What kind of enemies fought there? People, who used to live in one country, were killing each other and brother fought against brother. This is abnormal,” he said adding that the “division of Ukraine into the West and East had been dictated from outside.”
The Belarusian president gave a high evaluation of the work done by the Contact Group, which met several times in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to negotiate the ways out of the Ukrainian conflict.
According to Lukashenko, the group of negotiators from the Contact Group “did an enormous work and managed to stop the massacre.”
Last Friday, the Contact Group consisting of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as representatives from the DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire and exchange of captives during the OSCE-mediated talks in Minsk on September 5 that came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his seven-point plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. The long hoped-for ceasefire took effect the same day, but reports have said it has been violated several times.
Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on September 16 passed the law granting a special self-rule status to certain districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions for three years. Elections to local self-government bodies were set for December 7. The special status law was stipulated by the Minsk agreements.
The Rada also passed a law on amnesty for participants of combat activities in Ukraine’s troubled eastern regions except for those people who committed serious crimes.
Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics left thousands killed, inflicted massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said earlier in the month that according to latest UN estimations at least 3,000 people were killed since the conflict erupted in mid-April.