Donetsk Accepts Ex-President Kuchma's Authority in Ukraine Reconciliation

© Sputnik / Viktor Tolochko / Go to the photo bankFormer Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma
Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma - Sputnik International
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The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accepts the authority of Ukraine's ex-President Leonid Kuchma as Kiev's negotiator.

Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego (from right to left) - Sputnik International
East Ukrainian Republics Demand Non-Alliance Status for Ukraine
DONETSK, February 16 (Sputnik) – Kiev’s negotiator, ex-President Leonid Kuchma, is officially legitimate in talks between Ukraine and the eastern regions, the negotiator of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said Monday.

“We have seen the document on Kuchma’s authority and we no longer have any issues of his authority,” Denis Pushilin said during a press conference.

The issues of Kuchma's authority as a legitimate representative of Kiev have been raised during Contact Group talks on Ukrainian reconciliation on January 31. Envoys of the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR) pointed out that the former Ukrainian president has never been appointed to any official post and has no mandate or authority to sign a reconciliation agreement on behalf of the Ukrainian government.

The Trilateral Contact Group comprises DPR and LPR envoys, Kiev, Moscow and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Last week, the group signed a deal, reached by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, stipulating ceasefire, weapons withdrawal, constitutional changes in Ukraine and a prisoner swap.

Last September, the warring sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a Contact Group meeting in Minsk. Kuchma represented Kiev in negotiations last fall.

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