DONETSK, January 12. /TASS/. The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, believes that Kiev has decided to stop complying with the Minsk agreements amid reports that government forces have intensified the shelling of militia positions.
“Judging by the recent actions of Ukraine’s Armed Forces in Donbas, Ukraine has decided to unilaterally walk off the Minsk memorandum on ceasefire, although it has not made an official announcement on this,” Zakharchenko was quoted by the official Donetsk news agency as saying.
The negotiations and consultations on resolving the conflict have been almost futile as people in Kiev “do not keep their words,” he said, adding however that the Donetsk republic is ready to continue talks.
“If we are ready to resolve this issue peacefully, this needs to be done,” Zakharchenko said, stressing that the Donetsk republic sticks to the Minsk agreements.
In late December, both Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics declared the need to start withdrawing military hardware, exchange prisoners of war and demilitarize the region.
However, many issues are still on the agenda of resolving the months-long conflict.
In early September, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics signed the Minsk Protocol, an agreement to halt the war in eastern Ukraine. Two weeks later, talks continued in Minsk and the sides adopted a memorandum which clarified the implementation of the protocol. In particular, the document stipulates pulling heavy weaponry 15 kilometers back on each side of the contact line and banning offensive operations.