Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the authorized representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People Republics (DPR and LPR) to the Contact Group have come out with a joint statement saying Ukraine still wants war and has brought the negotiations for withdrawal of the weapons of less than 100mm caliber from the engagement line in Donbass to a stalemate.
“We have to say that it is an open sabotage by Ukraine. They try to break the withdrawal of heavy weapons by all means possible,” the politicians say in the statement. In their words, every time when the parties agree on the document, “representatives of Ukraine connect to Kiev, receive rejections, new instructions and confuse the process.”
“It happened in April, when we were ready to sign their option, it happened in June too. The situation repeated on July 21 when the text was agreed upon with the Contact Group and Ukraine took two days to sign the document. And then, yesterday, the fully coordinated text of the document underwent new, inadmissible corrections after a phone call to Kiev close to the midnight,” Pushilin and Deinego said.
They say the Donetsk and Lugansk remain committed to “immediate withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line. However, Ukraine apparently wants the war to continue and impedes the withdrawal of weapons!” they said.
OSCE Representative in Tripartite Contact Group on Ukraine Martin Saydik, in turn, told reporters the parties fail to find a common language on at least three issues: to initial the agreement on withdrawal of tanks and weapons of less than 100mm caliber from the engagement line, agree on the terms of applying the special status of Donbass, and conduct local elections in the territories of the DPR and LPR.
The negotiations of the tripartite group (OSCE-Russia-Ukraine) in Minsk on August 4 were held with participation of the representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. The next meeting of the Group is scheduled for August 26.