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MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR) see no need for peacekeepers to be sent to Donbas (the Donetsk and Luhansk regions), LPR representative in the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement Vladislav Deinego said.
"As regards peacekeepers, the situation is simple. We are capable of ensuring the security of our territories, we are capable of pulling out troops ourselves. For that, the OSCE, which will only watch us do that as a mediator, is enough for us," the LuganskInformCenter quoted Deinego as saying.
"We don’t need any additional levers that will in any way contribute to establishment of peace," he said. "Until we establish that peace on our own, no peacekeepers will help. This is our position and the position of Donetsk."
"I recently heard one more interesting position in that regard: Europe also assesses it in that manner. That if there is a need of peacekeepers, at first peace needs to be established, and then, maybe, a buffer zone," Deinego said.
In turn, DPR representative in the Contact Group Denis Pushilin stressed that the decision on possible establishment of a buffer zone should be made "in consultation with representatives of the republics."
"Peacekeepers are working in the zone where both sides asked to invite mediators if they failed to cope with the situation on their own. I think the situation is currently under our control," Deinego said.
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine’s embattled east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the DPR and LPR.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire at talks on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Since then, there have been numerous reports of violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day.
Ukraine’s parliament on September 16, 2014 adopted the law on a special self-rule status for certain districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions for three years. The law took effect October 18, 2014 but was then repealed by Kiev.
The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19, 2014 in Minsk. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
The Contact Group’s meeting in late December 2014 ended with no major results. The meeting scheduled for January 16, 2015 did not take place as no representatives of Kiev arrived in Minsk.
A regular meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement occurred January 31 and also ended without visible results. DPR and LPR representatives Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego stressed that Kiev presents ultimatums to militiamen instead of talks.
Regular talks of the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group on settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine were held in Minsk on February 10-12.
At that meeting of the Contact Group, a 13-point package of measures on implementation of the Minsk agreements was adopted, in particular, the agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including enforcement of the special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
The document was signed by OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, ex-Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, Russian Ambassador in Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, as well as self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics' leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.
Talks of the Normandy Four leaders (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) on the Ukrainian issue also ended February 12 in Minsk.