Denis Pushilin and Vladyslav Deineho, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics (DNR and LNR) envoys to the Trilateral Contact Group talks in Minsk, have made a joint statement setting conditions on which the DNR and LNR heads, Oleksandr Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnytsky, could attend the talks as well.
"As concerns the heads of the republics' participation in the negotiations, this will be possible only upon the observance of other conditions. First, a document should be drawn up and initialed at the level of the authorized representatives for its signature by the parties. Second - and the most important one! - the Ukrainian security forces must fully stop shelling our populated areas, as the heads are fully involved in the processes of opposing the shelling and dealing with the consequences of the blatant genocide of our population," says the joint statement circulated by the Donetsk news agency.
It is evident that Zakharchenko and Plotnytsky "should stay with their people if only from yesterday's shelling of Donetsk, in which people waiting in one to receive humanitarian aid came under fire, resulting in killing 12 people and injuring more than 20 others," it said.
Pushilin and Deineho said in the statement they were aware of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decree appointing former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma his official representative in the Minsk talks.
"However, to hold negotiations at the level of the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, there should be a representative occupying quite a high-ranking position in the Ukrainian state rather than a private person who cannot bear personal responsibility for disrupting agreements that have been reached," the document says.
"In addition, we are still waiting for Kiev to publish a decree on the official presidential website indicating the powers that its official representative in the negotiations is invested," the document says.
"In any case, if Poroshenko has appointed an official representative, there is still a hope for Kiev's reasonability, however slight it is," Pushilin and Deineho said in the statement.
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