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Kiev forces’ statements signal sabotage of peaceful settlement, Donetsk says

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic's Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova also called on Kiev to stop making provocations in media and at last start a fruitful effort on implementing the Package of Measures

DONETSK, September 15. /TASS/. Ukraine’s statements on refusal to provide a special status to Donbass are a signal of its deliberate plan to sabotage peaceful settlement, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic's Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova said on Sunday.

"The statements that Ukraine is not planning to grant a special status to Donbass and confirm it in the country’s constitution are a direct proof of a deliberate sabotage of peaceful settlement, which is aimed at solving political issues that had caused the conflict," Nikonorova said in a statement published on the Donetsk News Agency’s website.

According to the top diplomat, Kiev’s remarks call in question whether the Ukrainian leadership understands what the Minsk deal is really about. She stressed that the agreement clearly stipulates amnesty and prohibits prosecution of participants of events in Donbass as well as provides guarantees of a special status for Donbass and confirming this in the constitution.

The foreign minister recommended that the Kiev authorities, who have been reluctant to read the text of the Minsk deal in Russian, should familiarize themselves with the document approved by the UN Security Council. She recalled that the document outlines the territories where the constitutional reform and decentralization should be carried out.

She also called on Kiev to stop making provocations in media and at last start a fruitful effort on implementing the Package of Measures.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said on Saturday that Kiev would not amend the country’s constitution to include the provisions on granting a special status to Donbass. He also said no amnesty would be provided for the Ukrainian conflict participants, although this is stipulated by the Minsk peace agreements. Earlier, the head of Ukraine’s delegation in the Contact Group Leonid Kuchma made a similar statement, stressing that President Vladimir Zelensky would not grant a special status to Donbass.

In comment on Kuchma’s statement, Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov noted that any decisions and steps by Kiev and Donbass should be in line with the Minsk deal, stressing that such statements were a direct violation of the agreement, thus jeopardizing the entire peace process. He noted that this move was aimed at whipping up conflict in Donbass rather than achieving peace as promised to Ukrainian voters.