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Speaker of Donetsk parliament asks Merkel to "press" Kiev

March 08, 2015, 11:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In a published speech Donetsk politician asks the Chancellor to draw attention to the plight of the women of our Republic"

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Andrei Purgin

Andrei Purgin

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, 8 March. /TASS/. Parliamentary speaker of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Andrei Purgin addressed Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel asking her to press Ukrainian authorities.

"Please pay attention to the miserable state of women in this republic. The war, unleashed by the Kiev clique against our people, the economic blockade organised by the Ukrainian nationalists, turn more our women into widows and orphans. Mothers cannot receive social support and guarantees, regulated by the Ukrainian legislation. Retirees do not receive pensions from the country, for which they had been working through all their lives," the Donetsk news agency quoted the address.

Thus, the speaker asked Angela Merkel to "press" Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to "make them observe the Ukrainian laws."

"They do confirm that Donbass is a part of this country. However, if they think the Donetsk People’s Republic is a foreign territory outside the legislation and we, people living in Donbass, are their enemies who should be shelled and die of starvation, then they should be consistent to the end. Then they should recognise our independence from Ukraine," the address reads.

On February 11, the Normandy Quartet negotiations - presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France and German chancellor - in Minsk in various formats (in private and with other delegations) lasted for the total of 16 hours from 7:15p.m. local time.

On February 12, members of the Trilateral Contact Group on the Ukrainian conflict settlement signed a four-page set of measures to implement the earlier Minsk agreements.

The document was signed by OSCE Special Representative Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s second President Leonid Kuchma, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, as well as leaders of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. The first point of the document sets condition for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire beginning from 00:00 hours (Kiev time) on February 15, 2015. The conflicting parties agreed on withdrawal of all heavy weapons. Parties will pullback all heavy weapons to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement, and the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions - from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014. "The pullback of the mentioned heavy armaments should begin no later than the second day after the ceasefire and be completed within fourteen days," the package of measures says. The document points the OSCE will promote this process with support from the Trilateral Contact Group."

The package of measures contains a special item requiring "effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regimen and pull-out of heavy armaments by the OSCE as of the first day of the pullback, with the use of all required technical means, including satellites, drones, radars and other systems."

A separate point of the document provides for release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons based on the "all for all" principle that should be completed after the weapons withdrawal - on the fifth day at the latest. The sides also agreed on restoring the Ukrainian side’s control over the state border throughout the conflict zone.

Another point of the document provides for withdrawal of all foreign armed groups and mercenaries from Ukraine’s territory under OSCE supervision; all illegal armed groups shall be disarmed.

The set of agreed measures envisages Ukraine’s constitutional reform with the country’s new constitution talking effect by late 2015. The key element of the new constitution will be power decentralisation and adoption of permanent legislation on a special status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s south-east.

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