The eastern Ukrainian republics of the DPR and LPR said earlier that Kuchma, the former president of Ukraine who undertook to assist reconciliation talks, 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.
“We are now ready to discuss the text of the future document with him as a negotiator, even if his current status remains unchanged. But when it comes to signing, our leaders will sign on our behalf and the other side should also be represented by a person with the authority to sign,” LPR envoy said.
The Saturday meeting between the Kiev government and representatives of east Ukrainian militias in the Belarusian capital last week did not succeed, and both parties subsequently accused the other of torpedoing negotiations.
Hostilities have intensified in eastern Ukraine since the start of 2015, driving up the civilian death toll and displacing thousands, in what the United Nations has described as the "worst" violence the region had seen since a truce was signed in Minsk last September.