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Crimea status issue not raised at Minsk talks by Donetsk, Luhansk — envoy

June 10, 2015, 10:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
DPR envoy at the Contact Group on Ukraine Denis Pushilin commented on "questions about whether the Donetsk and Luhansk republics have recognized Crimea as Ukrainian territory"
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Crimean and Russian flags seen at a demonstration in March 2015

Crimean and Russian flags seen at a demonstration in March 2015

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR, LPR) do not raise the issue of Crimea’s status at the talks on peaceful settlement in Minsk, DPR envoy at the Contact Group on Ukraine Denis Pushilin said on Wednesday.

"As for the questions about whether the Donetsk and Luhansk republics have recognized Crimea as Ukrainian territory, I can tell you that the peninsula is not a question under discussion during the talks in Minsk or a subject of a constitutional amendment," the Donetsk news agency quotes him as saying. "The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements clearly states that the amendments of the Ukrainian Constitution should concern the Donetsk and Luhansk republics."

He noted that the issue of Crimea’s status should be resolved by its residents, which was done during the referendum. "The most important thing in Crimea has already happened: the referendum was held, people made their choice, and this choice is dominant," Pushilin added. "Today the situation there is stable, predictable and is evolving dynamically."

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements adopted by the Contact Group on February 12 envisages, in particular, comprehensive ceasefire, the establishment of the security zone in the Donbas region, the beginning of benefits and pensions payments to DPR and LPR residents and the constitutional reform in Ukraine aimed at decentralizing the public administration. Representatives of the self-proclaimed republics submitted their draft amendments to Ukraine’s Constitution on June 8.

The Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council adopted the Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol on March 11, 2014, against the backdrop of the political crisis and regime change in Ukraine. The Black Sea peninsula held a referendum on March 16, with its residents overwhelmingly voting for reunification with Russia (96,77% of voters in Crimea and 95,6% - in the city of Sevastopol). An agreement on the incorporation of Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia was signed on March 18. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognized Crimea’s independence and its reunification with Russia.

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