Donbas Doctrine On Integration With Russia Not Violating Minsk Agreements - DPR Official

Donbas Doctrine on Integration With Russia Not Violating Minsk Agreements - DPR Official

DONETSK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 01st February, 2021) The adoption of the "Russian Donbas" doctrine, reflecting the desire of Ukraine's breakaway Donbas to join Russia, does not contradict the Minsk agreements, Natalia Nikonorova, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) representative in the Trilateral Contact Group and DPR foreign minister, said on Monday.

On January 28, Donetsk hosted the Russian Donbas integration forum, during which the doctrine of "Russian Donbas" was presented. The doctrine is supposed to form the basis of the state policy of the self-proclaimed DPR and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). The document notes that Russia is a historical homeland for Donbas and the future of the region is associated with Russia. The heads of the DPR and LPR, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, said that they see the future of Donbas in reunification with Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the possible integration of Donbas into Russia was not on the agenda, either directly or indirectly. The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group, Leonid Kravchuk, said that Donbas leaders' statements about the intention to join Russia were blocking the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"The doctrine is not a normative legal act officially adopted at the level of legislative bodies, but it is the result of work of the scientific, cultural, and educational community of the republic, which reflects the moods and aspirations of Donbas residents," Nikonorova said.

She noted that the possibility of developing cross-border cooperation with Russia is reflected in a set of measures to resolve the conflict, and thus DPR does not violate the Minsk agreements and even acts in line with them.

"It is high time for the Ukrainian authorities to realize a simple and obvious thing - while they are trying to decide whether to remain within the framework of the Minsk agreements or abandon them, the republic is not going to humbly wait for their decision and waste time in vain. Our position, unlike the Ukrainian one, is clear, understandable and transparent - we remain committed to the Minsk agreements and continue to follow the path chosen by the people of Donbas," the official said.

The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014, when the Ukrainian army launched an offensive against the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, referred to together as Donbas, after they proclaimed independence from Kiev. Their decision came in response to what they considered a coup in Kiev that toppled the old government in February of that year.

In February 2015, leaders of the so-called Normandy Four, which besides Ukraine includes France, Germany and Russia, held talks in Minsk that resulted in adopting agreements aimed at halting the war in Donbas and a long-term political settlement of the conflict. During a Normandy Format summit in Paris in late 2019, all sides agreed that the Minsk agreements remain the basis for the resolution of the crisis.