Donetsk, Oct20 – DAN. DPR authorities will not agree to leave Debaltsevo, the safety of its residents being the primary concern, DPR envoy to Minsk negotiations, People’s Council Chairman Denis Pushilin told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko said after the Normandy Four talks in Berlin that Debaltsevo should be put on the list of areas where forces and hardware should be pulled back from the contact line. He alleged that the territory in question had been controlled by Ukraine as of the moment of signing of the Minsk-2 Agreements.
“As for the township itself on which Ukraine speculates on an incredibly regular basis, Debaltsevo is our town and the leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic will never make decisions harming its residents,” Pushilin said.
He said he believed it was premature to discuss new areas of disengagement of forces and hardware along the contact line in Donbass, as Ukraine has been blocking the withdrawal of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya, a pilot area on the contact line with the Lugansk People’s Republic. The envoy expressed the hope that the meeting of the Normandy Four leaders would have a positive impact on the issue.
“Hopefully, this meeting will have a positive impact on the disengagement of forces and hardware in the third area, Stanitsa Luganskaya, to facilitate the completion of the disengagement process and that an opportunity will present itself to discuss the next four areas,” he said.
The first ever disengagement of DPR and Ukrainian forces took place on October, 7 in Petrovskoye area. The units pulled back at a distance of 2 km from their positions. In LPR area of responsibility the disengagement was completed in Zolotoye are, while in Stanitsa Luganskaya it was several times disrupted by Ukraine.
The Contact Group participants (DPR, LPR, Ukraine, Russia and OSCE) signed the framework agreement on disengagement of forces on September 21-23. The document sets the procedure for withdrawing the army units of the conflicting parties in three pilot areas: Petrovskoye in the DPR and Stanitsa Luganskaya and Zolotoye in the Lugansk People’s Republic.
A security zone has been specified for each area, with a width and length of least two kilometers.
The Contact Group was expected to coordinate in Minsk new areas for synchronic withdrawal of forces and hardware from the Contact Line.