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Situation on contact line in Donbass deteriorating despite Poroshenko’s statements — DPR

March 29, 14:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Denis Pushilin, shellings sometimes turn into "full-scale military actions"
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) that live near the contact line in Donbass do not see any improvements after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statements about peace in the region, DPR’s envoy to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Minsk Agreements were signed, and we constanly hear that the agreements should be implemented, our residents living near the contact line do not see that," Pushilin said.

The situation on the contact line is deteriorating, shellings sometimes turn into "full-scale military actions," Donetsk News Agency quoted DPR envoy as saying.

Pushilin also said that Poroshenko’s calls for deploying peacekeeprs in Donbass are empty and violating the Minsk Agreements. "We once again note that there is Package of measures that was signed. We remember very well that the third provision of this document envisages verification and control only by OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) SMM (Special Monitoring Mission). No peacekeepers. Neither UN nor any other ‘police missions’ are envisaged. That is why all these statements are meaningless," the envoy noted.

On Tuesday Poroshenko visited Kiev-controlled Kramatorsk in Donbass. The Ukrainian president said that "the lion’s share" of his visit to Donbass "is devoted to peaceful matters… for which both Donbass and Ukraine are striving."

DPR: Poroshenko’s proposal on election in Donbass goes against Minsk Agreements

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s plans on local election in Donbass go against the Package of measures on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the DPR envoy went on to say.

"If you analyze Poroshenko’s statements about election, you will see that he needs peacekeepers, he wants to return control over the border and sovereignty. He once again refuses to fulfill provisions of the Package of measures," Donetsk News Agency quoted Pushilin as saying.

Pushilin reminded that in the framework of the Minsk Agreements, Ukraine "should first carry out a constitutional reform, fulfill the provision on non-persecution of participants in the conflict, adopt laws on special status and, of course, on election."

"All of this should also be coordinated with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk," the DPR envoy noted.

Pushilin said that DPR is ready to hold local election by July 2016 as it was proposed by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "We have done everything we could. The ball is now in Ukraine’s yard. If they do what they should, election will be held. But we cannot control the situation in Kiev," he added.

The Minsk accords were signed on 12 February 2015, 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 Pyotr Poroshenko. The package of measures envisages ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

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