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DPR eager to see future Ukraine as part of Union State of Russia-Belarus, says leader

Denis Pushilin noted that it could be not he state of Ukraine but a different entity

DONETSK, February 11. /TASS/. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) wants to see Ukraine as part of the Union State of Russia and Belarus in the future, DPR leader Denis Pushilin said at a briefing on Friday.

When asked how Donbass sees Ukraine’s future statehood in the event of an offensive against the DPR and LPR (the Lugansk People’s Republic), Pushilin said, "Of course, we would prefer to eventually see Ukraine within the Union State of Russia and Belarus. That is how it is meant to be."

"However, it won’t be the state of Ukraine. It will be a somewhat different entity, which will probably appear after Ukraine’s potential offensive operation," the DPR head believes. "I would not like to provide any other details of even my assumptions, since that can be interpreted differently by our opponents," he maintained.

Pushilin said that the Donbass republics "are starting to ponder over" Ukraine’s possible future. In his opinion, there are several scenarios, "some of them are more realistic, some are more desirable."

The DPR head said that Ukraine’s future would depend on how soon it would be able to get rid of the manifestations of neo-Nazism, which had emerged there in recent years.

"We say plain comprehensible things about peace, about development and about coexistence with Ukraine which needs to be negotiated somehow. Or, about what will be left of Ukraine in the event of its reckless aggressive actions against Donbass," Pushilin said.

"First and foremost, we care about peace, and we do everything in our power so that this peace can come sooner," the DPR head added.

Escalation in Donbass

Since January 9 tensions have been escalating in Donbass, with Ukrainian forces shelling along the entire contact line. Eduard Basurin, a deputy head of the DPR militia, said on Friday that Ukraine’s Armed Forces were preparing an offensive in Donbass, as a variety of weapons and additional military units were being deployed to the region.

The West and Kiev have recently been spreading allegations about Russia’s potential ‘invasion’ of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded", serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone. However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such allegations and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have serious consequences.