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Donetsk Republic's mission unveiled in France ‘to inform people of Donbass developments’

September 25, 21:01 UTC+3 PARIS

Media reports indicated earlier that a consulate of the Donetsk republic would open in Marseille on September 25

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PARIS, September 25. /TASS/. A mission of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), tasked with providing the French with credible coverage of the events in Donbass, was unveiled in Marseilles on Monday, the head of the new center, Hubert Fayard, said.

"We are not just opening the doors of our center, we are opening the window onto France for the Donbass people. Our main aim is to inform the French people of developments in Donbass," said Hubert Fayard who chairs a branch of a small right-wing party, National Center of Independents and Peasants, in Bouches-du-Rhone department in southern France.

He said the aim of the new center is to "build relations between the French people and the residents of Donbass republics". "France, as we know, does not officially recognize them (the republics), but this does not prevent us from this activity, from informing people, establishing humanitarian contacts," a honorary consul added.

A video address of DPR’s Acting Foreign Minister Nataliya Nikonorova was shown at the opening ceremony. She emphasized "tremendous importance of this event" for the republic. "The establishment of direct contacts with the European society is of tremendous importance for us, as this means that credible information about the way we live, about the establishment of our republic and its development will directly reach them," she added.

The DPR’s mission in France has become an already fifth one in Western Europe. Earlier, similar centers were unveiled in Finland, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy.

The legal status of the mission is a nongovernmental organization, established in full conformity with the French legislation, Hubert Fayard said. "We will be coordinating humanitarian aid, establishing student exchanges, implementing information tasks - we want to inform people in France of what is going on in Donbass," the center’s head said. He stressed the importance of "breaking information blockade, rebuffing the tide of disinformation that has continued since the Maidan times," he added.

He said the center is financed by volunteers.

France’s stance

France is not planning to officially recognize a consulate of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic due to open in the southern city of Marseille in late September, French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said last week.

The organization, called the Center for Representation of the Donetsk People’s Republic in France, was registered as an association under the 1901 law and this does not require any preliminary recognition by the French government, he explained.

"The French authorities won’t officially recognize this association, which does not have any diplomatic status, and therefore does not enjoy any privileges or immunity," Giorgini said.

The diplomat stressed that "France’s position remains unchanged - it supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and does not recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that "the goal of this association is illegal" and informed the French prosecutor about this, he added.

Media reports earlier said that a consulate of the Donetsk republic would open in Marseille on September 25. The consulate will be led by honorary consul Juber Fayard, who chairs a branch of a small right-wing party, National Center of Independents and Peasants, in Bouches-du-Rhone department in southern France, the reports said.

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