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Donetsk, Luhansk ready to restore relations with Ukrainian regions

November 03, 2014, 23:26 UTC+3 DONETSK
Donbass is ready to supply coal to Ukrainian regions to normalise the heating season and work in the hryvna zone if Kiev stops financial blockade
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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

DONETSK/LUHANSK, November 3. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics said on Monday they were ready to hold a dialogue with Kiev and restore relations with Ukrainian regions, including over coal supplies.

“We are open for continuing the dialogue. But this dialogue should be equal. We will be ready to restore relations with Ukrainian regions and to sign agreements with the cabinet of ministers, enterprises and organisations of Ukraine,” the republics’ authorities said in a joint statement.

“We are ready to supply coal to Ukrainian regions to normalise the heating season. We need cooperation in supplies of electric energy, agricultural products, in the fields of transport, communications and export-oriented productions. Our economy will work in the hryvna zone if Kiev stops financial blockade,” the statement said.

The elections of heads and parliamentarians in the republics were held in compliance with the Minsk agreements “within the terms and the procedure coordinated by the republics’ representatives, Russia and Ukraine”, it said.

On September 1, the Luhansk and Donetsk republics demanded Ukraine recognise the status of areas controlled by the militias and create conditions for free elections of heads and parliamentarians on the principles of independent people’s self-government, the statement said.

“If Ukraine met our demands, we obliged to exert maximum effort for maintaining peace, preserving a united economic, cultural and political space in Ukraine and on the space of Russian-Ukrainian civilisation,” it said.

“We guarantee that if Kiev acts in a reasonable way, the elected leaders will be ready to continue the dialogue. We will follow the spirit of the Minsk talks. Of course, we are ready to do our best to maintain peace,” the statement said.

The republics also call on Kiev to adopt a law on recognising the special status of Donbass. The November 2 elections “will speed up the peace process and lead to comprehensive political decisions to settle the accumulated disagreements,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he intended to submit an issue to the National Security and Defence Council to annul the law on the special status for Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions).

“In due time this law played an extremely important role,” Poroshenko said in an address placed on his website.

The new law can be adopted if the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics “reverse” the elections held on November 2, he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement stressing that the elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were in full compliance with the Minsk agreements. It said that the position the leaders of self-defense forces of the two republics have taken on the November 2 elections is justified and stands fully in line with the accords reached at conferences of the Contact Group for Ukraine in Minsk in September.

“All the references to the law on a special administrative regime for the aforesaid territories, which President Poroshenko signed October 16 and which set the date of elections at December 7, run counter to the Minsk accords,” the ministry said.

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