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Donbass republics support European calls for complete ceasefire

The republics also confirmed their readiness to negotiate

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) support in full the calls of Moscow, Berlin and Paris for a new ceasefire, Natalia Nikonorova and Vladislav Deinego, the republics’ Plenipotentiary Representatives to the Contact Group seeking peace for Donbass, said in a joint statement obtained by TASS.

"On behalf of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, we state with all responsibility that we overwhelmingly support the urgent call of political directors of the French and German Foreign Ministries for members of the Contact Group saying that the sides need to relaunch a ceasefire along the contact line without any limitations," the statement says.

The statement says that "on December 19, 2018, at a meeting of the Contact Group and its working security subgroup Ukraine’s representatives refused to negotiate the timeframe for another ‘Christmas’ ceasefire, citing a lack of authority due to the current martial law, in spite of the agreement reached and confirmed at previous meetings."

In the meantime, in fact they disrupted the implementation of a key provision in peace settlement, refusing to support the proposal of DPR and LPR to declare a ‘Christmas’ ceasefire on December 22 ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities.

As one of the guarantor nations of the Minsk accords and a mediator in the peace talks, the Russian Federation voiced its solidarity with the Donbass republics’ position and supported in full their initiative of a speedy agreement on a comprehensive ceasefire.

"In addition, Kiev’s representatives put forward some ultimatums linking the agreement on the ceasefire timeframe to solutions to issues, unrelated to the Minsk talks and implementation of the Minsk accords," the document said.

The document says that the massive redeployment of Ukrainian heavy weapons and armored vehicles to the contact line in Donbass, which is verified in reports of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), along with the Ukrainian media reports citing officials’ remarks about the extension of martial law, are a cause for concern.

"Kiev’s conduct arouses serious concern over its true intentions to plot military provocations in Donbass, which might result in environmental and humanitarian disasters," the text said. "We draw your attention to the fact that unless the Ukrainian government’s short-sighted policy aimed at escalation and military threat in Donbass is implemented, this will end up in a total failure of the peace process, which was organized by collective efforts of Russia, Germany and France," it reads.

"We underline that in case this aggressive scenario is realized, the Ukrainian authorities are to blame fully for this irresponsible step," it said.

DPR, LPR call on guarantor states

"Understanding the exceptional significance of guarantees of the lull and security for Donbass people, at least during the New Year and Christmas festive period, we call on foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and France along with the OSCE to do their utmost to bring the Ukrainian authorities to their senses and to prevent a negative scenario, which will become disastrous for more than six million Donbass people on both sides of the contact line," the statement says.

"There is still a possibility for a ‘Christmas’ ceasefire as a video conference of the security working group is scheduled for December 27, which gives a chance to agree on the date for the ceasefire in line with the Minsk agreements," he said. "In our turn, we confirm adherence to the peace solution within the framework of the Minsk accords and readiness for negotiations," it said.

"We still believe that the given agreements have no alternative and are the only available instrument for a compromise solution to the intra-Ukrainian conflict in Donbass," they said.