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Donetsk People's Republic seeking Customs Union, EurAsEc membership

June 17, 2014, 14:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

DPR leader Denis Pushilin called for bringing in a peacekeeping contingent to the zone of Ukrainian army’s punitive operation in order to create humanitarian corridors

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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MOSCOW, June 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin has said DPR has adopted a course towards liberating the people from Kiev authorities' armed gangs."

At a news conference at ITAR-TASS on Tuesday, the chairman of the presidium of DPR Supreme Council outlined the practical moves to normalize the situation in the province which the local authorities would implement after the end of hostilities.

He said the republic would form a close alliance with another self-proclaimed republic — Luhansk People's Republic — and cooperate with international bodies in the post-Soviet space.

“Many ministries of the proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics will work jointly, because the two republics have signed a union treaty and have similar action programs,” Pushilin said. "We're looking to Russia, the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Community."

“We'll handle the issue when the genocide is over,” he added.

He identified the main tasks as the industrial upturn and restoration of abandoned production facilities which had been stolen.

The official underlined that DNR would raise wages and welfare payments at the expense of nationalization of the companies that refuse to pay taxes to the DPR budget.

In 2013, Donetsk transferred about 14 billion hryvnias ($1.19 billion) of which just seven billion returned to Donetsk. “Huge (money) flows went into pockets of unscrupulous people,” Pushilin said.

He said DPR had no plans to establish peaceful contacts with Kiev.

“At present, talks with Kiev authorities are out of question,” Pushilin said. “The DPR leadership has learnt from a sad experience when a ceasefire was negotiated, but Kiev authorities violated the terms and continued to deliver fire.”

The self-proclaimed republic intends to respond with reinforced checkpoints, new volunteer units and warning strikes by miners.

Pushilin said that Kiev authorities' statement about humanitarian corridors were ‘a downright lie’, because buses with white flags carrying children, women and old people, came under fire shortly thereafter.

He called for bringing in a peacekeeping contingent to the zone of Ukrainian army’s punitive operation in order to create humanitarian corridors.

When asked about casualty figures, Pushilin noted that no precise information was available because people died and went missing every day.

He said the Ukrainian authorities had been concealing huge losses among their law enforcement staff.

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