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DPR envoy says too early to talk about ceasefire on Donbass contact line

The DPR envoy reports military provocations by the Ukrainian side

DONETSK, September 16. /TASS/. A full ceasefire on the contact line in the Donbass region has not been achieved yet owing to military provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces, Denis Pushilin, the envoy of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to the Trilateral Contact Group talks said on Friday.

"Unfortunately, provocations do take place. So far, it would be premature to say that peace has come, but, of course, the situation is different from the one that we saw until the head of the republic issued an order not to respond to provocations," the Donetsk News Agency quotes him as saying.

Pushilin added that after the September 14 visit by the German and French top diplomats to Kiev there is "a perfectly clear understanding" that it is necessary to first resolve security and political settlement issues, amend the Constitution in coordination with DPR and LPR (the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics) and only then discuss the border issues. "Ayrault voiced not what we offer, but these are certain steps in the right direction," he said.

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, outlined a roadmap to accelerate the Minsk process after a meeting in Kiev that brought together the German, French and Ukrainian top diplomats. According to Ayrault, during the first stage of a full ceasefire in Donbass as of September 15, the parties are to agree on the areas of troops withdrawal and create the first three pilot security zones. Simultaneously, the bills on the elections in the Donbass region and on the region’s special status are to be drafted.

During the second stage, Ukraine’s Verkhona Rada is to pass laws on elections and the special status. At the same time, the number of security zones is to increase from three to ten, observers’ access to Donbass is to be improved and OSCE advanced monitoring bases are to be created.

During the third stage, the Verkhovna Rada is to set the date for the elections, a constitutional reform in terms of decentralization of power is to be held in Ukraine, amnesty is to be granted to all participants to the conflict in the east of the country. Simultaneously, there is the final disengagement of forces along the entire line of contact, new checkpoints are to appear, all prisoners are to be released, troops are to be withdrawn and access to the border with Russia opens.