MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinega, the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR, respectively) said in a joint statement on Sunday that the OSCE’s claims that the Minsk statement was failed due to their unpreparedness for talks was inadequate.
A statement issued by Serbia, which is currently a Chairperson-in-Office in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said that DPR’s and LPR’s representatives "were not even prepared to discuss implementation of a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons," but, instead, " called for revision of the Protocol and Memorandum" of the Minsk agreements.
"After the Minsk meeting of January 31, the OSCE said that our side was unprepared for talks. We think such assessment at least in inadequate. We came to Minsk two times to wait for Ukrainian representatives who did not show up citing some strained considerations as their reasons," says the statement posted on the website of the Donetsk News Agency.
According to the statement, the DPR and LPR representatives "came in Minsk with proposals that mingt pave the way for a real negotiating process but not its imitation, the thing the Ukrainian side is indulging in."
Instead of trying to find a compromise solution, the Ukrainian military have intensified the shelling of Donetsk, the statement noted. "Yesterday, the Ukrainian side laid its claims to us, but today, in response to our position and a proposal to look for a compromise, the Ukrainian military staged a massive shelling of Donetsk’s living quarters, one of the most severe ones since the beginning of the conflict. This is what we call a ‘Kiev-style ultimatum.’ In such conditions, it is a blasphemy to say we are not prepared for talks," the statement underscored.
The statement stressed that the first and foremost condition for further talks was Kiev’s stopping to shell Donbass cities from heavy weapons.
Another attempt of the Contact Group on Ukraine to agree a ceasefire in Donbass yielded no visible results on Saturday. After more than three hours of talks in the Belarusian capital city, participants left Minsk, saying nothing about prospects for further contacts.
Ukraine’s former President Leonid Kuchma refused to speak to journalists, whereas representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, told journalists at the airport that the side had only exchanged views on key issues of the settlement and decided to take a break.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at OSCE-mediated talks on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. On September 19 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The document contains nine points, including in particular a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibres of over 100 millimetres to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions. The document was signed by OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky.