Minsk, Belarus. Today talks were held between the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany with the Donbass Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in attendance.

Another round of the Minsk talk took place today in Minsk. Kiev continues to escalate the armed conflict in Donbass, said the DNR envoy to the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin.

“Despite loud statements of Ukrainian political authorities on loyalty to the Minsk Agreements, Kiev keeps escalating the armed conflict in Donbass. Ukraine openly and publicly builds up its military presence on the contact line, secures new lines in the grey zone,” he said adding that buffer zones have narrowed to nothing in many areas, producing further hostile encounters between the two sides.

Pushilin said that Kiev has been repeatedly disrupting the disengagement of the armed forces of Ukraine and Donbass Republics self defense forces, agreed to in Minsk.

“Despite the OSCE SMM recording at least three seven-days periods of DNR ceasefire observance, Kiev sabotaged all of the disengagement attempts in the Stanitsa Luganskaya area, with the latest provocation taking place on May 18, 2017.”

“Ukrainian president Poroshenko still has not signed the law on the amnesty for participants of the conflict (adopted in 2014), as the Minsk Package of Measures states, which obstructs the prisoner exchanges on the all for all basis. Instead, Kiev keeps imposing the tactics of categorizing detainees and exchanging them in small groups, politically playing games on prisoner swaps all the time,” Pushilin said.

The Ukrainian side in the Minsk talks keeps ignoring the logic of the agreements implementation, and protracting negotiations, said DNR acting foreign minister Natalia Nikonorova on her opinion of the situation with regards to Minsk.

“Unfortunately, I cannot make a statement on a positive outcome of today’s meeting. The Ukrainian side in the Minsk talks keeps ignoring the logic of the agreements implementation procedure and protracting negotiations using means which have become traditional for Kiev involving delay tactics.”

She said the DNR has been reminding Kiev of the agenda of the talks, but Ukraine simply ignores any statements from the Donbass Republics. The issue of the Minsk Agreement protocol guidelines came up today again, more acute as ever, as Ukraine sticks to a double standards policy, “We would like to remind Kiev again that the Minsk talks are the only platform for settling the conflict and bringing back peace to Donbass.” Nikonorova said.

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