Donetsk, Feb 17 - DAN. The political settlement in Donbass in not possible without giving special status to the region, but Kiev has not yet come close to the process, Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin told the Donetsk News Agency on Monday.

On February 15, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called at the Munich Security Conference for joint patrols on the border with Russia in Donbass, involving representative of the OSCE, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic for the period of preparations for local elections.

“The official Kiev has not made a single move to coordinate with the DPR and the LPR the legal aspects of the special status of Donbass. According to the Package of Measures (for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements - eds Donetsk News Agency), the early local elections are a political process which is part of a full and comprehensive political settlement,” Pushilin said.

He also commented on Zelensky’s intentions to “put the squeeze” on the border issue at the Minsk talks. Over the period of the conflict, Donetsk has adjusted to permanent pressure from Ukraine and any attempts by Kiev to “put the squeeze” on things are doomed to failure.

“The position of “putting the squeeze”, as voiced by Zelensky, is not new to us. Shelled and blockaded, the Donetsk People’s Republic has been under permanent pressure from Ukraine for six years, and has already proved that Ukraine, while it can try “putting the squeeze” on the Donbass people, is unable to carry it through.”

The Agreements dated September 5 and 19, 2014 and February 12, 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict. The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements envisions a Constitutional reform in Ukraine which has to result in deep decentralisation. Special status for Donbass is a key point of the political part of the agreements.

The local election in Donbass has to take place after Kiev has fulfilled its part of commitments on the political track, such as granting special status to Donbass and adopting a law on amnesty. Under the Minsk accords, the Ukrainian leadership must coordinate all its actions with Donbass Republics representatives.*jk