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DPR envoy calls Obama’s veto on defense spending bill 'good sign'

October 23, 2015, 16:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
After such a step from US authorities, Ukrainian leader may reconsider the policy
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US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama

© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. US President Barack Obama’s decision to veto the defense spending bill that authorizes sending $300 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine can become a signal that the war has ended in Donbas, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) envoy to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin said in an interview with the Russian News Service radio station on Friday.

"This, of course, can be a good sign that the war will not be continued. However, in order for the war to really stop, and in order for dialogue on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements to start, Ukraine’s desire is required, as well as its capabilities strengthened by their deeds," Pushilin stressed.

He noted after such a step from US authorities, Ukrainian leader may reconsider the policy. "They [Ukrainian authorities] may have harbored hopes for partners from across the ocean, for the possibility that weapons supply will start. Maybe this will cool Ukraine down in a sense, and they will start considering normal negotiations process," Pushilin added.

On Thursday, the US leader vetoed the spending bill for 2016, scuppering provisions to send military aid to Ukraine. But chances to see the bill pass remain. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says the upper house could override the president’s veto as 67 senator votes were needed to override the veto on the bill backed by 73 in the house.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" 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 Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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