11:51 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Ukraine's decision to de-energize the Lugansk People's Republic is yet another step toward the rejection of the territory, which also contradicts the Minsk agreements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday. He underscored that Moscow is doing its best to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn Donbass republics.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Russia's representative to the Ukraine contact group said that Moscow decided to provide electricity to the Lugansk Republic after Kiev had cut the supplies citing debts.

    "The de-energization of the Lugansk region is another step on the path of Ukraine's rejection of its territories. This is a step that contradicts the spirit of the Minsk agreements, which does not bring us closer to the implementation of these Minsk agreements, but rather distances us from the ultimate goal," Peskov told journalists. "Certainly, Russia has always done and is doing a lot, for humanitarian reasons, to help minimize the consequences for people who live in Donbass," he said.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Tags:
    electricity, Lugansk People's Republic, Ukrainian crisis, Dmitry Peskov, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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