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MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council’s refusal to introduce a special local government procedure on territories that came under control of the self-defense forces in Donbass after September 19 is considered to be "an operation of political cover-up", chairman of the people’s council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Andrey Purgin told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.
"It is just a political statement," Purgin said. "According to the last Minsk agreements, the disengagement line is coordinated, that is, coordinated by the two sides. And here we have a categorical statement - ‘only before September 19’. This is a cover-up operation," he added.
The maneuver is aimed at exacerbating the situation on the disengagement line, Purgin said. "Instead of four-five, we now see 20 incidents per day. Over the last 24 hours, there have been 50 incidents," he noted. "This political statement just masks the real situation," Purgin added.
Purgin said he was skeptical about Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s decision to build fortifications along the disengagement line. "This is a great sum of money which [the Ukrainian authorities] don’t have. Ukraine is in fact in an unannounced default. So it’s just not very serious to talk about building walls," he noted.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has earlier supported the decision on defining the borders of separate areas along the disengagement line where, in accordance with the Minsk agreements, a special local government procedure is introduced. "For implementing this measure, a corresponding decree will be adopted by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada and amendments will be made to the aforementioned law [on special local government procedure in separate areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions]," the statement said.
However, Kiev does not plan to introduce the procedure on territories that came under the control of self-defense forces after September 19, as well as "in all settlements along the disengagement line that are controlled by the Ukrainian side."
On February 12, negotiations in the "Normandy format" were held in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The talks lasted for around 14 hours.
Simultaneously, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement was held in Minsk, bringing together former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, both representing the Ukrainian side, alongside representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) special envoy to Ukraine, Heidi Tagliavini, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, who acts as a mediator.
As a result, a package of measures on implementing the Minsk agreements was adopted, including on ceasefire in separate areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions starting from February 15, heavy weaponry withdrawal and long-term political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.