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Donetsk republic pledges to ensure safety of US envoy during his Donbass trip

July 27, 21:51 UTC+3 MAKEYEVKA

On July 23, US Special Envoy for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited the Kiev-controlled area of Donbass

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MAKEYEVKA, July 27. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic is ready to ensure the safety of US Special Envoy for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, during his trip to the region, DPR envoy to the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin told reporters on Thursday.

"We see the initiative of the new US administration to pay more focused attention to the conflict in Donbass, to the Minsk format. In order to objectively assess the developments, one should not only visit the Kiev-controlled territories, but also communicate with our people in Donetsk and Lugansk, speak to the leadership before making decisions," he said.

"We are ready to arrange everything for the safety of his (Volker's) visit," the "Donetsk news agency quoted him as saying.

Pushilin also noted that Washington has leverage over Kiev to influence the developments around the embattled Donbass and the process of a peace settlement. With this in view, he once again mentioned inexpedience of US weapons supplies to Kiev, as it could escalate the conflict further.

On July 23, Kurt Volker visited the Kiev-controlled area of Donbass, giving a news conference in the city of Kramatorsk. However, the Donbass republics were not in his plans.

On July 24, the envoys of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics said they would want to meet the US Special Envoy for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, because this could help settle the conflict in Donbass.

"I think this would be a rather useful meeting for all parties no matter what initial positions," the Luganskinformcenter news agency quoted LPR envoy to the Contact Group Vladislav Deinego as saying. DPR’s Denis Pushilin, for his part, said the Donetsk People’s Republic "welcomes any opportunities for a peaceful settlement of the conflict".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Kurt Volker as his special envoy for Ukraine on July 7. His task is to coordinate State Department’s settlement efforts.

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