DPR envoy: Kyiv intensifies shellings in Donbass to justify deploying peacekeepers

MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. Kyiv has started aggravating the situation on the contact line in Donbass to justify its statements about necessity of deploying peacekeepers in the region, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) envoy to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin told TASS on Thursday.

“All of this is connected – increasing number of shellings of Zaytsevo, closure of a border checkpoint in Lugansk, bus blast at a Ukrainian checkpoint yesterday, Kyiv’s growing criticism of actions of OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and representatives of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination. This serves as evidence that Ukraine has probably not given up on ideas of deploying some kind of peacekeeping forces in the region,” Pushilin said.

According to DPR defense ministry, Kyiv forces shelled the DPR territory almost 900 times over the last week.

Kyiv’s representatives repeatedly voiced suggestions to deploy a peacekeeping forces in Donbass. However, Donetsk and Lugansk say such proposals go against the Package of measures of the Minsk Agreements that name OSCE Special Monitoring Mission as the only official international representative in the region.

Ceasefire is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called “Normandy format” in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The Minsk also accords envisage weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.