MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR) consider it impermissible to arm representatives of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Donbass, DPR envoy to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.
"Just like before, Donbass is categorically against any armed missions on the territory of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republic. We will consider this as an intervention," Donetsk News Agency quoted Pushilin as saying.
The envoy noted that presence of armed SMM representatives at local election in Donbass is also impermissible.
The press service of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said earlier today that the leaders of "Normandy Quartet" countries (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) supported in their telephone conversation the deployment of an armed OSCE mission in Donbass. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the issue of arming the OSCE mission is being discussed, but Russia understands it as a monitoring mission, not a police mission. Peskov also noted that the questions of broadening powers of the OSCE mission should be coordinated with representatives of DPR and LPR.
Local election in Donbass is envisaged by the Minsk accords 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 also envisages ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.