Interfax: Poroshenko’s declarations drive Donbas peace talks to blind alley – Pushilin

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MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) – The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic finds unacceptable the instructions given by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Kyiv’s envoy to the subgroup for political issues Volodymyr Horbulin about the possibility of launching the dialogue on the modality of local elections in Donbas only after a complete ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy armaments verified by the OSCE.

“By giving instructions to Horbulin on the possibility of discussing the modality of elections only after the ceasefire and withdrawal of weaponry at a time that the OSCE virtually every day registers the shelling of Donetsk airport and Shyrokyne from the Ukrainian side Petro Poroshenko actually drives the negotiating process into a blind alley,” DPR envoy Denis Pushilin told Interfax.

He also urged the Ukrainian leader to refrain from aggressive statements regarding Donbas.

“If the president of Ukraine is truly loyal to the Minsk agreements as he regularly tells Europe he should refrain from declarations about seizing the airport by force, refrain from conniving with the actions of [head of the Luhansk region military-civilian administration Hennadiy] Moskal and [leader of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Yuryi] Lutsenko that have tightened the economic blockade contrary to the February 12 Complex of Measures and get down to concrete actions instead of words,” Pushilin said.

“The decree cancelling the armed operation would be the best evidence of the intentions to settle the conflict peacefully,” he felt.

“We do not see the decree cancelling the military operation which is a necessary condition for holding elections according to ODIHR standards and it is ODIHR that is authorized by the Minsk Complex of Measures to hold the elections in DPR and LPR,” Pushilin said.