MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has not put forward any initiatives to unite the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine, as this would be in breach of the Minsk peace agreements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
“No, this is absolutely not true,” Peskov said, responding to Ukrainian media reports about Moscow’s alleged proposal to unite the two breakaway regions into one autonomy, with a leader agreed upon by the so-called Normandy quartet.
“Any such suggestion would be a deviation from the Minsk agreements,” Peskov stated, adding that this would be “unacceptable and counterproductive."
Kiev launched a military operation in Donbass in mid-April, 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the authorities that came to power after the February overthrow of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Soon after, the self-proclaimed republics started to create their own governments and law enforcement agencies and, on May 24, signed a treaty of association into Novorossiya, a union of the people's republics.
The Minsk agreements is a set of measures elaborated by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in mid-February to facilitate the process of Ukrainian reconciliation.
The 13-point deal stipulates a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line in Ukraine’s southeast, an all-for-all prisoner swap and amendments to Ukrainian constitution to decentralize powers.