Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
24th May, 2016
The Ukrainian side interpret the positions of the “Normandy Quartet” leaders too freely by stating their support for the idea of sending an armed police mission of the OSCE to Donbass. This was stated today by the head of the DPR delegation in the Contact group, the Chairman of the People’s Council Denis Pushilin.
“According to our information, the parties discussed this issue, and this issue should be resolved in Minsk. The “Normandy format” is not only Ukraine, who so freely interpret it as being so,”said the speaker of Parliament.
He stressed that the DPR remains opposed to the presence of all armed and police missions in the conflict zone, and they will be regarded as attempts to enter such missions as an intervention. Pushilin stressed that the presence of observers with weapons can do nothing to facilitate the holding of the elections provided for by the Minsk agreements.
“We have the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which guards the law, so they will provide security for election observers and voters, and the commission,” concluded the head of the Republic’s delegation for peace negotiations.
Earlier today, via the press-service of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko announced that the leaders of the “Normandy four” — Russia, France, and Germany — during a telephone conversation allegedly supported the deployment of an armed OSCE mission in Donbass.
Commenting on the report, the Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said today that the question of the armament of the OSCE mission is being discussed, but to Moscow’s understanding, it is still about a monitoring mission, and not about the police. Peskov also noted that the issues of expansion of powers of OSCE mission should be consistent with the DPR and LPR.
As a reminder, earlier the authorities of the Republic repeatedly stated the inadmissibility of the placement of a new mission of the OSCE in the conflict zone that would be, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, “well-armed with heavy weapons”. The head of DPR Alexander Zakharchenko, in particular, said that such a move would be perceived as foreign intervention, and called on Kiev to make a real effort for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, “rather than trying to arm the OSCE to seize Donbass”. In turn, acting DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova pointed out the direct contradiction between Poroshenko’s initiative and the peace agreements reached in Minsk.