13:52 GMT16 July 2020
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    In a joint statement the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine said that they would like to join Russia.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine said in a joint statement Wednesday that they consider Crimea a part of Russia and would  like to join Russia themselves.

    “DPR and LRP certainly consider Crimea a part of Russia. Moreover, our republics would ideally also like to be parts of the Russian Federation," reads the statement, published by Donetsk news agency.

    The statement was issued by the republics’ negotiators in the Minsk peace talks Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego.

    On Monday, representatives of the self-proclaimed republics proposed amendments to the Ukrainian constitution, including the granting of a special status to the region while keeping it under Ukrainian jurisdiction. In the proposal sent to the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation Crimea was identified as part of Ukraine.

    On Tuesday, Deinego explained that amendments, stipulated in the Minsk agreements, can address only the status of the Donbas region, as the issue of Crimea was closed in March 2014, when 96 percent of the peninsula's residents who voted in a local referendum cast their ballots in favor of reunification with Russia.

    The February Minsk peace deal stipulates, besides a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact by both Kiev and pro-independence militias, the granting of a special status to the Donbas region of Ukraine as part of constitutional reforms to decentralize power in the country.


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    Lugansk People's Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, Russia
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