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Donbass envoys question Contact Group’s plan of disengaging forces

June 01, 2016, 19:52 UTC+3 MINSK

According to the envoy of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, the Kiev forces have approached the militias' positions in some areas at a visibility distance

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MINSK, June 1 /TASS/. The plan for disengaging military units in the Donbass conflict zone the Contact Group suggested at its regular meeting on Wednesday arouses some questions of the Donbass representatives, Viktoria Talakina, the press secretary of the special representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in the Contact Group for the settlement in Eastern Ukraine, said after the group’s meeting in Minsk on Wednesday.

"The option for the sides’ disengagement suggested by the group’s participants is certainly good. The only thing which is unclear is whether we should retreat to create another buffer zone or the violators should return to their initial positions?" Talakina wrote on her page in Facebook.

She said that Denis Pushilin, who represents the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in the Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement, had raised the question of aggravating tensions and the observation of agreements reached by the sides in conflict at a meeting on June 1. Pushilin said that the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic had not retreated an inch from its positions while the Ukrainian military had approached their positions in some areas at a visibility distance.

Over the past few months, the DPR representatives have sharpened the attention of the Contact Group’s participants to the fact that the unilateral seizure by the Ukrainian military of the "grey zone" will inevitably narrow the distance between the sides and would increase a degree of tensions.

"This is what happened at a checkpoint near Yasinovataya. Unfortunately, the massive shelling of Donetsk, Dokuchayevsk and Yelenovka as well as civilian deaths have regretfully become the result of the Ukrainian side’s actions," Talakina stressed.

The Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement discussed the disengagement of forces and vehicles on the contact line as well as priority sections for this disengagement at its previous meeting on May 18. Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office in Ukraine, said the most important sections where those in which the civilian population is going to benefit most.

Earlier, Vladislav Deinego,who represents the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic in the Contact Group, said that the OSCE might submit new proposals on stabilizing the situation along the disengagement line.

The Contact Group will hold its next meeting on June 15.

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