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Luhansk republic leader sees no sense in referendum on Donbas status amid civil war

February 09, 2015, 15:00 UTC+3
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LUHANSK, February 9./TASS/. The head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) said on Monday there is no sense in holding a referendum on the status of Donbas in conditions of a civil war in eastern Ukraine.

"Let us first stop the war, lift the economic blockade, and then we will see whether we will agree to hold a referendum or not," Igor Plotnitsky said.

"He [Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko] has already said that he knows the result in advance, so why having this farce?" he asked.

"If this referendum was held in an honest way, I think Poroshenko would be surprised by the result," Plotnitsky added.

Earlier, the Ukrainian leader said the issue of federalization and autonomy of certain Ukrainian regions should be put to a national referendum.

Plotnitsky commented on possible deployment of peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine, saying it's preferable that the peacekeepers be from Russia and Belarus in case they should be deployed.

He also said the leaders of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) will not attend the negotiations of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s crisis settlement on February 11 as Kiev hasn't appointed its official representative.

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