DONETSK, January 19. /TASS/. The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic believes there is no alternative to the Contact Group on resolving the crisis in Ukraine, the DPR’s chief negotiator Denis Pushilin said on Monday.
“I see no other format or alternative. All the sides are represented — both our side and the mediators. Russia and the OSCE are authoritative for us, and the latter has shifted towards an unbiased and adequate assessment into the recent events,” Pushilin said.
Pushilin said although the latest round of talks on Friday in the Belarusian capital Minsk was disrupted, “it is important to be lenient towards the situation which is developing in Kiev.”
“We are doing utmost towards preserving peace,” he stressed.
The Contact Group talks in Minsk on January 16 were frustrated as Kiev sent no representative to the meeting. Representatives of both the Donetsk and Luhansk republics arrived in Minsk to attend the negotiations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Ukrainian military and militias on Sunday to immediately stop shelling each other’s positions and to pull out heavy weapons from the both sides of the conflict line.
At the September 5 meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk, attended by the representatives of Kiev, Ukraine’s south-east, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Russia, the sides agreed on a plan for peaceful settlement and a ceasefire.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.
Two weeks later, a memorandum was adopted in Minsk which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.