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Ukraine's self-proclaimed republics against deploying armed OSCE mission to Donbass

October 24, 2016, 14:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that Vladimir Putin supported the idea of an OSCE police mission in Ukraine by and large

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© Valentin Sprinchak/TASS

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) are unalterably opposed to deploying an armed mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to the Donbass region, DPR envoy to the talks in Minsk, Denis Pushilin, said on Monday.

"DPR and LPR are strongly opposed to the presence of OSCE armed units on the territory of the self-proclaimed republics," he told a TASS round-table conference dedicated to the results of the Berlin Normandy Four summit and the prospects of the Minsk process. "This is not only the stance of our leaders. This is also the stance of our citizens. This is confirmed by the recent demonstrations that brought together thousands of people where our citizens clearly expressed their protest against Poroshenko’s initiatives."

Pushilin noted that the deployment of an armed mission to Donbass is a very complex issue, since, in fact, it is going to be an entirely new mission. To make this decision, a decision by all 57 OSCE member-countries is required. The process will be complicated by the fact that the issue at hand is the security of every citizen of an individual country, so positive results may not be achieved. According to Pushilin, it cannot be ruled out that a vote by the parliaments of the organization’s member-countries may be needed to make this decision.

He added that currently the fact that OSCE Special Monitoring Mission observers have no weapons is the basic element of security. Pushilin recalled that not a single OSCE employee has been killed in the Donbass region during the conflict.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that Vladimir Putin supported the idea of an OSCE police mission in Ukraine by and large.

"It is true that President Putin responded with potential consent to the idea of such a mission," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told the media. "But for the time being the OSCE has no understanding of how such a mission can be formed, where it is to be deployed and so on."

"In general there have been no talks on the issue and there could not have been any, because it is a very specific discussion depending on a variety of circumstances," Peskov said. "All (four leaders of the Normandy Quartet) agreed with the idea of creating such a mission, if need be," Peskov added. "But it does not have a specific content yet."

Seven areas for further disengagement of forces and weapons in Donbass

According to Pushilin, the unrecognized republics have suggested seven possible areas for further disengagement of forces and weapons along the contact line in Donbass.

"We have offered our options, Ukraine is to offer its," Pushilin said.

"We (LPR) offered five (areas), you (DPR) - two. Ukraine, too, is to offer some options," Deinego said. "So, four are to remain in the long run."

Following a Normandy Four summit in Berlin on October 19, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reported that the Normandy Four leaders had reached an agreement on establishment of four new zones of disengagement in Donbass, saying however that "much work is ahead".

In his turn, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said Ukraine insists on putting the DPR’s city of Debaltsevo on the list of these zones. He referred to the fact that as of the moment of signing of the Minsk Agreements, the territory was allegedly under control of the Ukrainian military.

On September 21, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine reached a framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass. The Contact Group agreed on the principles and a timeframe for disengaging forces of Kiev and militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Stage one is to create security zones at three sections of the line of contact, namely near Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya. The agreement envisages withdrawal of armed forces from the line of contact to create security zones at least two kilometers wide and two kilometers deep. The entire disengagement process, including preparatory measures, is to take not more than 30 days for each of the sections and be followed by demining works. The document is also applicable to other sections that might be agreed by the parties in further consultations.

The disengagement process has successfully been concluded near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. By today, Stanitsa Luganskaya is the only site where disengagement has not taken place as the Ukrainian side failed several disengagement attempts.

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