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MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. The peaceful settlement process in Ukraine’s Donbass region organized within the framework of the Minsk accords was frozen even before it began in full measure, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko has told Donetsk News Agency.
"The peaceful settlement process was actually frozen before it began," he said. "Even the first clause of the Minsk agreements concerning the truce is not complied with. The Ukrainian military is constantly and increasingly shelling our territory making provocations on a regular basis. As for other provisions of the Package of Measures, they are either not observed by Kiev or are simulated. The reason is simple enough - Kiev hopes to resolve the conflict by force sooner or later."
At the same time, he considers the work of the Contact Group and its subgroups "important and useful." "Firstly, they guarantee if not a dialogue with Ukraine then at least direct contacts. This is important, particularly amid the persisting military confrontation. Secondly, the work at the Contact Group and its subgroups itself can exert influence on Kiev and prompt it to launch the full-fledged dialogue to achieve a settlement," Zakharchenko said.
He added that the DPR proceeds from the need to fully implement small projects in the context of the work of the thematic subgroups. "If their number grows, this could lead to a change in the quality of the talks," he said, adding that at the moment he does not expect any tangible progress at the negotiations.
A meeting of the Contact Group and its subgroups ended in Minsk on April 6. The parties failed to achieve breakthrough results. Representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbass region supported by Russia insisted on introducing tough regulations in the work of the Contact Group. The issues of demining activities, end of fire attacks, organization of elections and normalization of the humanitarian situation were also on the agenda.