DONETSK (Sputnik) — The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is an independent state, which will never be part of Ukraine, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said Monday.
“Whatever happens in Minsk, DPR is an independent state and will never be a part of Ukraine,” Zakharchenko said during a meeting with residents of the town of Oktyabrsky, which repeatedly has been subject to shelling by Kiev-led forces.
The region proclaimed independence from Ukraine in April 2014 amid a standoff with authorities in Kiev. Following the start of the military operation against southeast’s militias the same month, the Donetsk region held a referendum in May and finalized its secession, creating a people’s republic with its own government in Donetsk. The vote has not been internationally acknowledged.
A series of negotiations, brokered by Russia, Germany, France and the Organization for Security and Co-operation, has led to an agreement in early 2015 that conditioned the republic’s reintegration into Ukraine on Kiev overhauling the country’s constitution to grant it a special status within the nation’s borders.
The recent escalation of tensions in the region has so far hindered the progress in talks between the warring parties.
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