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Ukraine's unrecognized Donetsk republic says committed to peace process despite escalation

June 05, 2015, 11:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The parliamentary speaker of the republic said the situation in east Ukraine's Donbas region was now "on the brink of a full-fledged war"

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A Donbas militia fighter shows a scar from a gunshot wound

A Donbas militia fighter shows a scar from a gunshot wound

© AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. The government of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic remains committed to the peace process for Ukraine’s troubled eastern region and has no plans to abandon talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk, the parliamentary speaker of the republic said on Friday.

"The Minsk process will take a long time but we cannot abandon it under any circumstances since we are invited by third parties - the OSCE [the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and Russia," Andrey Purgin said in a report from Donetsk News Agency.

"Even if the Minsk process fails to produce desired results, any political motions and attempts to put the situation on the political track cannot but ease military tensions," Purgin said, noting that as a result of Kiev’s aggressive actions, the situation in east Ukraine's Donbas region was now "on the brink of a full-fledged war."

"We can only welcome any political talks aimed at defusing military tensions, even if their effect is weak or very week," he added.

Minsk peace deals

On February 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held marathon talks in Minsk, seeking to reach a political settlement over east Ukraine's future.

Belarus also gathered former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Kiev envoy for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk - both representing the Ukrainian side - alongside heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.

OSCE special envoy for Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov joined them as mediators.

The meetings yielded a package of measures to implement the Minsk agreements, including a ceasefire in certain areas of east Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions starting from February 15.

They also called for withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the line of military engagement, prisoner release and measures to generate a lasting settlement to the conflict.

Among the terms of the deal was agreement for international observers sent by the 57 member states of the OSCE to monitor the truce.

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