MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. The 2014 referendums on the creation of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) took place in response to aggression, Russian Envoy to the Contact Group for resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov told reporters, commenting on the fifth anniversary of the referendums.
"The Donetsk and Lugansk referendums took place in response to an armed coup, the rise of neo-Nazism, the murders of those opposing the Kiev authorities and the launch of a reprisal operation," he said. "It was the people’s response to blatant violations of their rights and threats to their lives," Gryzlov added.
He pointed out that "subsequent developments in Ukraine proved that Donbass residents had every reason to make such a decision" because "the Kiev warmongers had left them no choice but to claim independence and defend themselves." "All that Donbass got from Kiev is aggression and a blockade. All that Donbass heard from Kiev is threats and demands for surrender," the Russian envoy noted.
He emphasized that "Donetsk and Lugansk won’t surrender, it’s impossible." "That’s not why DPR and LPR residents protected their right to life, right to have a decent future, speak their language and preserve historical memory," Gryzlov said.
According to the Russian envoy, "resolving the Ukrainian conflict and improving relations between Donbass and Kiev require direct dialogue." "The sooner the Kiev authorities realize it, the better," he added.
"The results of the Ukrainian presidential election point to the failure of the Kiev warmongers and pave the way for dialogue and we are ready to facilitate the process through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements," he noted, adding that "soon we will see what words about peace and dialogue said during the election campaign are worth."
Gryzlov went on to say that "DPR and LPR authorities act based on the decisions made at the 2014 referendums." In his view, they have done a lot to ensure security, create conditions for businesses, support healthcare and education systems.
He noted that the Minsk Agreements, the decisions made by the Normandy Quartet and the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions enshrined the need to provide special status to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Gryzlov stressed that "the Ukrainian authorities did sign and accept all these documents."
"In fact, it is based on the will of the Donbass people, expressed at the referendums on May 11, 2014," the Russian envoy concluded.