DONETSK/LUGANSK, January 30. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR, respectively) on Friday announced conditions, under which their leaders, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitky, will take part in the talks of the Contact Group on Ukraine.
"Kiev insists that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics be represented at the Minsk talks by number ones (Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky - TASS). But for them to take part in such a meeting a number of conditions are to be observed," says a joint statement of LPR and DPR official envoys at the talks, Vladislav Deinego and Denis Pushilin, respectively.
"First and foremost, Kiev must stop combat operations against the republics, which divert forces and time of the republic’s leaders to defence of their cities and civilians," the document says.
"Second, (Ukrainian President Petro) Poroshenko must publish an enactment appointing Ukraine’s official representative at the Minsk talks," the DPR and LPR representatives said in the statement.
Such document should definitely state "who is Kiev’s authorized representative, what are this person’s competences and whether this person is authorized to implement the agreements reached in Minsk and what are this person’s liabilities in case the agreements are frustrated."
"Only when these conditions - Kiev’s stopping combat operations against civilians in Donbass, appointment of an official envoy to the Minsk talks, preparation of an agreed document for signing by the parties - the leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics will come to Minsk to take part in the high-level negotiating process," the statement underscores.