MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The process of integration of the people's republics of Donbass into Russia, which is now beginning, cannot in principle be compared to the process of reintegration into Ukraine envisaged by the Minsk agreements, as these events have different bents, LPR envoy to Moscow Rodion Miroshnik, who was the republic's representative in the Contact Group for settling the situation in eastern Ukraine from 2015 to 2022, told TASS on Thursday.
The Minsk agreements on the peace settlement envisioned Ukraine's decentralization reforms, including the adoption of a law on the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions within the country. The special status of Donbass foresaw, among other things, the right to linguistic self-determination for residents of the region, the creation of a people's militia, and amnesty for all participants in the armed conflict.
According to Miroshnik, the supposed autonomy within Ukraine had nothing in common with the rights that the republic will retain after becoming part of Russia, as the processes have contradicting specifics.
"It cannot be compared in principle. It was not even about autonomy there. There, in this law [on the special status of the Donbass within Ukraine], we sought to build a system of protection of our territories from the center of Ukraine, from nationalist movements, from the special services and everything else. Here (within the framework of integration into the Russian Federation - TASS) we want to retain only a set of functions that will allow us to adapt to the Russian system of power and law, protect our economic sectors, and integrate into the education and social security system as quickly as possible. In other words, to take the maximum of everything that has been developed in the Russian Federation and to achieve equal relations as much as possible. So that a person who has a Russian passport and lives in Lugansk has the same rights and opportunities as any other person living in Russia," he said.
According to Miroshnik, the law on the special status of Donbass as part of Ukraine had the opposite meaning. "Everyone there was a citizen of Ukraine, but some of these Ukrainian citizens were ‘right’, while others were ‘left’, some were the titular nation and others were non-titular. Here we were a non-titular nation building a system in which we tried to defend ourselves against a government that came to power through a coup d’etat and was run by Americans," Miroshnik added.