The representatives of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” during consultations in Minsk on Saturday, January 31, threatened to renew full-scale military operations along the entire line of demarcation between the two parties, reports Interfax Ukraine.
“They demanded that the president of Ukraine issue a decree on a unilateral ceasefire. They threatened that if the ultimatum was not accepted, they would renew full-scale battles along the entire frontline,” Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine and member of the Tripartite Contact Group on the resolution of the situation in the Donbas, said in an interview with Interfax Ukraine on Sunday, February 1.
Moreover, the “DNR” representative Denis Pushilin and the “LNR” representative Vladislav Deinega insisted on defining the line of demarcation according to the situation on January 31 and not according to the Minsk agreements of September 19, 2014, Kuchma stressed.
“When asked what kind of assurances would be given that in the future they would not determine some other line, they were silent,” Kuchma said.
Kuchma also reported that the separatist representatives were not familiar with the action plan proposed by the Ukrainian side on the implementation of the Minsk memorandum. “We sent the plan to all parties in advance, but for some reason it was not shown to the representatives,” he said.
According to Kuchma, this position of the “DNR” and “LNR” representatives is contrary to the stated position of Russia in particular, especially since on Saturday, during a phone conversation with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, President Vladimir Putin said he hoped to reach agreements in Minsk.
“This is precisely why we are waiting for Russia’s reaction” Kuchma said.
As reported, on Saturday in Minsk preliminary consultations of the Tripartite Contact Group to resolve the Donbas situation took place. Later the same day Kuchma announced the cancellation of the planned January 31 round of consultations.
“Today’s consultations on the Plan of Implementation of the Minsk agreements, which includes a list of specific measures aimed at the rapid de-escalation of the situation was disrupted due to the absenteeism of the Minsk signatories O. Zakharchenko and I. Plotniskyi, the ultimatums of the representatives D. Pushilin and V. Deinega, and also the refusal to discuss the Action Plan on the immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons,” Kuchma said.