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Donetsk airport under full control of self-defense forces

October 03, 2014, 12:48 UTC+3 DONETSK
Earlier media reports claimed the EU could impose additional sanctions on Russia if the Donetsk Airport and the city of Mariupol come under control of the militia
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Damaged terminal of the International airport in Donetsk

Damaged terminal of the International airport in Donetsk

© EP/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

DONETSK, October 3. /TASS/. Self-defense forces of self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic have brought Donetsk airport under full control. However, there are still Ukrainian law enforcers in underground communication rooms of the airport, the information department of the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed republic told TASS.

"At present, communication facilities of the airport have been screened to establish if any explosive devices might have been planted," the source said.

Earlier media reports claimed the EU could impose additional sanctions on Russia if Donetsk Airport and the city of Mariupol came under control of the militia.

However an EU source in Brussels told TASS, that the issue of the European Union’s further sanctions against Russia is connected not with specific inhabited localities or control zones in embattled eastern Ukraine but with observation of the truce there.

Dispute on anti-Russian sanctions in the EU

Meanwhile, in line with reports from TASS' diplomatic sources in Brussels, there are still sharp differences among the 28 EU member states on what to do with anti-Russian sanctions. In such conditions, a decision of the EU summit due in Brussels October 22-23 will most likely be needed to change the sanctions regime to any extent.

The positions of supporters of new sanctions have also been weakened by general understanding in Europe that all restrictive measures against Russia have already proven totally ineffective. Although they have done certain harm to the Russian economy, including the ruble-dollar and ruble-euro exchange rate fall, they have not affected Russia’s policy in any way.

Fighting at Donetsk airport

Heavy fighting has been taking place in the area of Donetsk airport as of lately.

On October 1 at least nine people were killed and another 30 wounded after Donetsk was shelled by the government forces from the area of the airport.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier urged the conflict parties in Ukraine to observe all ceasefire agreements reached last month in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

Infographics Map of combat actions in Ukraine's east on September 22-28 Map of combat actions in Ukraine's east on September 22-28
Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk was shelled on September 28. Artillery fire hit Kuibyshevsky district of the city. Infographics by TASS
Ceasefire agreements

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire and exchange of captives during the OSCE-mediated talks in Minsk on September 5 that came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his seven-point plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. The long hoped-for ceasefire took effect the same day, but reports said it had been repeatedly violated since then.

On September 19, the Contact Group consisting of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE as well as representatives from the DPR and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments.

Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have claimed some 3,500 lives, according to the UN, forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast and caused massive destruction.

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