MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Alexei Pushkov, the chair of the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, said it seems to him that Kiev authorities do not need the country’s southeastern regions, commonly known as Donbas, "despite President Petro Poroshenko’s promises."
In an interview with Russia’s daily Izvestia the senior Russian lawmaker said the agreed upon elections in the southeastern self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) seem currently as a far-fetched perspective.
Contrary to the full cessation of all military actions one can see their expansion and only meetings at a level of working groups are taking place instead of a full-fledged political dialogue, he said.
"It seems that Kiev needs an excuse for the West showing that we are holding some sort of a dialog," Pushkov said.
The lawmaker said that in line with the Minsk Accords, the authorities in Kiev should have long ago started direct negotiations with the authorities of DPR and LPR on the format and nature of the elections.
"But there are no such talks," Pushkov said. "The responsibility lies within Kiev because DPR and LPR are self-proclaimed republics and they cannot engage Kiev in a dialog if it does not want it."
The Belarusian capital of Minsk hosted on February 12 summit talks of Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The over 16-hour marathon summit negotiations ended in a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.
Prior to the summit talks Minsk also hosted the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, who both acted as mediators.
As a result of the meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the heavy weaponry pullout and measures on a long-term political settlement of the crisis.