DONETSK, May 26. /TASS/. A high combat alert regime will stay in place in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) as long as the Ukrainian side continues violating the current ceasefire, Alexei Nikonorov, DPR’s negotiator in the security subgroup of the Contact Group on settling the situation in Donbass, said on Tuesday after the subgroup’s online meeting.
"In response to the Ukrainian side’s demand the high combat alert regime be lifted, we said it would be done only after Ukraine stops shelling attacks against the republics, investigates all the all the deaths and injuries of civilians, refers these results to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and agrees with the republic a Contact Group statement in support to the current ceasefire, including concrete extra measures of its control," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
Instead, Ukraine’s representative dodged discussion of extra measures of ceasefire control in Donbass, despite all the efforts of the republics and Russian mediators at the talks.
A high combat alert was imposed in the DPR and LPR after Ukrainian troops had intensified shelling attacks.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass in 2014, the parties have agreed more than 20 ceasefires. The longest one of them was reported in 2016 when the ceasefire stayed in place for six weeks in a row. However, all the efforts to establish lasting ceasefire have been failing so far.
The Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) summit in Paris on December 9 called for the establishment of a comprehensive truce in Donbass by the end of 2019. However Ukrainian troops continue shelling of the Donbass republics’ territory.