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MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s decree vests Leonid Kuchma with no authority to make decisions on behalf of Ukraine at the Contact Group talks, Vladislav Deinego, who represents the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in the Contact Group, said on Monday.
"The presidential decree authorizes Leonid Kuchma to represent Ukraine in the Contact Group. But this decree vests him with no authority to make any decisions on behalf of Ukraine, the more so to be responsible for the implementation of any decisions," LuhanskInformCenter cited him as saying.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s decree appointing former President Leonid Kuchma Kiev’s official representative at the Contact Group talks on the settlement in eastern Ukraine was posted on the presidential website earlier on Monday. The document is dated July 8, 2014.
Under the document, Leonid Kuchma, who was Ukraine’s President in 1994-2005, was authorized to represent Ukraine on a pro-bono basis in the Trilateral Contact Group on peace settlement in eastern Ukraine involving OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) envoy Heidi Tagliavini and Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov.
Earlier, the issue of Kuchma’s competence at the Contact Group talks was raised more than once. At the latest meeting in Minsk, the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) insisted on Kiev’s commissioning an authorized representative to the talks as a key condition. Ahead of the meeting on January 31, the DPR and LPR representatives said they wanted to see an official document on that matter signed by the Ukrainian president.
"Our competences have already been confirmed. These documents are published whereas Kuchma demonstrated a document that have not been published anywhere," said DPR’s representative Denis Pushilin.
Ahead of the latest meeting of the Contact Group, Moscow too said it would be right if Kiev appointed an official envoy to the talks.