Donetsk, May 23 – DAN. The Ukrainian side has refused to designate the Donetsk water treatment plant (DFS) area as the next disengagement area, said DPR envoy to the negotiations Denis Pushilin commenting on the results of the security group videoconference.

"Ukraine was not inclined to a meaningful dialog, despite the importance of drinking water to civilian population, and the potential environmental hazard of chlorine storage if hit by a shell. Ukraine refuses the idea of disengagement in the area."
Pushilin insisted that the disengagement is essential, as currently the sides can observe each other directly from their positions, and the situation causes provocations, shelling and security deterioration.

"The main reason behind the escalation is the Ukraine's desire to take the strategic object under control, to use its vital infrastructure as a tool in the Donbass blockade. The Ukrainian army has brought its positions from 1.5 km away to 70-150 meters away from the station," Pushilin said.

The DFS situation will further be discussed in due course.

The security situation in the DFS area remains unstable. Reports on Ukrainian shelling have become more frequent. After five staff members had been injured while on duty on May 17 and the company's vehicle had come under fire, the Contact Group suggested the area should be designated as the next disengagement of forces and hardware zone. *ot