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Kiev offered LPR leadership to establish silence regime near Debaltsevo — LPR official

The proposal, however, raised some fears that Kiev could use it for taking the surrounded Ukrainian army and National Guard units from the encirclement rather than for evacuating civilians

MOSCOW, February 3 /TASS/. Kiev has offered the leaders of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) to establish a "regime of silence" near Debaltsevo, Vladislav Deinego, an authorized representative of the Luhansk People’s Republic at negotiations of the Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement, told the Luhansk Information Center (LuhanskInformCenter) on Tuesday.

Deinego said that he had received an official proposal from Major-General Rozmaznin, Ukraine’s co-chairman of the Joint Control and Coordination Center, to establish a "regime of silence" in the cities of the "Debaltsevo springboard" (Debaltsevo, Uglegorsk, Svetlodarsk and Mironovsky) with an aim to evacuate civilians," LuhanskInformCenter quoted Deinego as saying.

He clarified that the Kiev side had suggested establishing the "regime of silence" from 10:00 to 17:00 Kiev time (11:00-18:00 Moscow time) on February 3.

The Ukrainian side’s proposal, however, raised some fears that the Ukrainian side could use that "regime of silence" for taking the surrounded Ukrainian army and National Guard units from the encirclement rather than for evacuating civilians.

In this connection, Deinego said, the LPR asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to cancel his order to launch an offensive along the actual disengagement line (separating the Kiev-loyal troops from the militia positions) and issue a public order to the Ukraine army, the National Guard and territorial volunteer battalions to cease the fire.

"Then, it will be unnecessary to evacuate civilians. On the contrary, it will be possible to start the restoration of houses and infrastructure facilities which the Ukrainian army destroyed during the January offensive. It was not we who ordered to start that offensive, let alone, to shell peaceful civilians," Deinego explained. He also criticized the Kiev authorities of double standards and selective approach.

"Ukraine’s former president, Leonid Kuchma, does not think that me and my colleague Denis Pushilin, an authorized representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), have enough powers at the Minsk consultations of the trilateral group. It is a very selective approach. Kiev recognizes our powers whenever it is suitable for it; on the contrary, our powers are considered to be insufficient when it is unfavorable for Kiev," Deinego said.

The Contact Group for settlement in eastern Ukraine met in Minsk on February 1 without any visible results. Afterwards, the authorized representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics, Denis Pushilin and Vladisalv Deinego, said that instead of talking, the Kiev authorities were delivering an ultimatum to the militias.