Denis Pushilin calls full cessation of hostilities most important achievement of Minsk process

The Chairman of the DPR People’s Council, permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR in the contact group on resolving the situation in Donbass Denis Pushilin commented on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, spoke about the prospects of situation development and impact of the ceasefire.

– Is “Minsk-3” possible?

– It is unlikely now. The Package of measures is the interpretation of the previously signed documents. This is the “road map”. And there everything is written down thoroughly. And no one is going to simplify or alter. At least on our part, there are no such preconditions. Therefore, it is necessary to fulfill all that is written.

– What are the reasons why Kiev delays implementation of the agreements, and for how long it can last?

– Now those who are at the helm of Ukraine are in a very difficult position. Kiev cannot fulfill the Minsk agreements, Kiev cannot but fulfill the Minsk agreements. Kiev cannot go to the military offensive, Kiev cannot but go to the military offensive. Each of these options is a bad thing. But these are all options that are now available for Kiev. But there is another option – to delay the process as much as possible, this is what Kiev is now engaged in. How many weeks or months will they be able to do this? How much will it be permissible from the Western partners is also to be seen.

– In your opinion, the signing of a memorandum on September 5, was the right decision?

– Definitely the right decision. An alternative to this is the thousands and thousands of victims.

The fact that it is not advantageous for Ukraine and Ukraine fell into a trap here, these are the problems of Ukraine. For us, this document, too, is quite a compromise.

But we have signed and deliver on our obligations. But the fact that Ukraine does not succeed in it, and they are trying in every way to either delay the process or interpret it to their advantage. It is the desire of individuals. This question is not discussed.

– What was achieved by signing the first memorandum?

– The most important thing we have achieved is that the full-fledged fighting stopped. It is premature to say that the war is over, because every night more shells hit along the contact line. But, nevertheless, it’s not fighting full when our morgues were overwhelmed, when we didn’t have enough space for the dead. What else is important for us – it is an opportunity of economic recovery. Why? Because all the economic blockade, transport, food, energy, organized by Ukraine against us, pushed to the fact that we need to take care of our citizens.

– How is the situation with socioeconomic development of the Republic?

– The DPR and the LPR – this is almost 4 million people, this is a lot. This is a large area, some of the countries’ territory is less than the DPR and the LPR. We don’t expect that Ukraine will at some point very sharply change their attitude to what is happening, and everything will go back to square one. So we took it all upon ourselves, and for us economic recovery without active hostilities is happening much easier. There are a lot of problems, of course, but compared to the year 2014, we have now full store shelves, we currently pay pensions and benefits on our own, jobs are being created. Prices for public utilities have remained at the pre-war level, and in Ukraine in particular categories they increased tenfold.

– The first memorandum helped to achieve this?

– Yes.

– Can it be considered that the signing of the first memorandum brought the breakaway Republics to the next level?

– In fact, the Minsk Agreement put their origin precisely on September 5. Given the inability to negotiate, destructive position on the part of Ukraine, additional clarification and additional agreements had to be created. But, nevertheless, they had begun precisely on September 5, when the negotiating table took place. And what is important for the Republics, we have become the subjects of the negotiations. For us, this is an international platform with the ability to express our position, announce the interests of citizens and Republics. It is very important.

– How has the position of Kiev changed after two years since the signing of the first agreement?

– Kiev signed in conditions of fear and uncertainty and under international pressure. For Kiev, too, it was important to sign. They did not think how they will fulfill. They were guided by the rule: let’s sign, and then find a way out of this situation. Now the stage when they are trying to get out of this situation. They are trying to find ways to not perform the Minsk agreements, but at the same remain good for Western partners. But the situation is such that many people begin to open their eyes to the real action on the part of Ukraine, after all this was compounded especially by attempts to carry out terrorist acts on the territory of Crimea. We’ve seen some signals towards (the President of Ukraine Petro) Poroshenko. This is the lack on the 24th (of August – Independence Day of Ukraine – Ed.) of important leaders of the European states. We can see that, “Normandy format” is beginning to take a new form. Time will tell if it will be sustainable or not, but for now this is, in fact, in some extent, “Normandy Three”. In fact, for us Ukraine is no longer a subject of decision-making. We understand that the major decisions are not made in Kiev. But now it is evident to all that the fate of the Ukraine will be spoken about without the representatives of Ukraine.

– Was Kiev going to perform the obligations taken on in 2014?

– In fact, Ukraine was not going to implement the agreements. They relied on a variety of scenarios that would allow them not carry out anything and get away from commitments. They expected that the economic, transport blockade of the DPR and the LPR will crush and destroy the Republics. And then there will nobody to fulfill the agreements. Kiev relied on other actions on the part of Western partners. But we see that the DPR and the LPR, in fact, have learned to do without Ukraine. Now we are not dependent on the will and desires of other Kiev’s ambitions. Nothing went according to the plan of Kiev.

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