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Ukraine's Party of Regions demands negotiations with Donetsk region residents

May 13, 18:07 UTC+4 KIEV
There are no separatists or bandits in the east, they are people who wish to live in their country, the party's representative said
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Barricades in Donetsk

Barricades in Donetsk

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

KIEV, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. A deputy from Ukraine's Party of Regions has said that Kiev should listen to people's opinion, stop the punitive operation in eastern Ukraine in order to prevent the country from breaking up and plunging into civil war, and start negotiations with the Southeast.

Regrettably, the authorities never understood what happened in eastern Ukraine last weekend or what is happening now," said Nikolai Levchenko at the session of the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday. "They never understood that the threat of civil war is real in the east of the country."

The so-called "anti-terrorist" operation turned into a terrorist operation the authorities launched against their own people.

He drew attention to the fact that a battalion, funded with private money, is operating in the Donetsk region. "So-called peaceful activists from the Maidan with weapons in arms were sent there; apparently they are thugs," Levchenko said.

He noted the remarks by parliament-appointed acting President Oleksandr Turchynov about the referenda in the east of the country. "Even if one listens to you, Mr. Turchynov, you said that just 30% of Donetsk region population had taken part in the vote, "but I wish to remind you that 30% makes 2.5 million people," Levchenko said adding that these people "have expressed their will."

"In any country of the world, 2.5 million people are a real force which the government should listen to."

He said when Turchynov was in opposition, he was forcing the whole country to listen to dozens of thousand people on the Maidan. "You told the world at large that we had to listen to Maidan protesters. In the Donetsk region, 2.5 million expressed their will in an organized manner," Levchenko said.

"Don't call them separatists or bandits: they voted against you: they don't wish to live in the same country with a gang of nationalists, in the country which has not yet dismantled its barricades, where armed neo-Nazi groups continue to operate, heading for the east to carry out punitive expeditions," he went on.

Levchenko stated that the Party of Regions "is demanding that Kiev heed people's opinion, stop the punitive operation in the east and start negotiations."

"Otherwise, you Messrs Turchynov, Nalivaichenko /head of the Security Service/, and Avakov /parliament-appointed Interior Minister/ will personally bear responsibility for the people burnt alive in Odessa, for the bloodshed in the east, for all the fatalities," the lawmaker said.

"We don't want to live in one country with the neo-Nazi and thugs. We demand immediate discussion, a "round table," prompt decentralization reforms and power-sharing between Kiev and regions," he added.

People demanded the sovereignty of the Donetsk region; people wish to hear proposals on this account. "Give them the reasons why they should remain in this country, convince them that the population in Ukraine's southeast will live comfortably in this country, that rules will be made for all and that one part of the society will not abuse another.

There are no separatists or bandits in the east, they are people who wish to live in their country. "We need urgent negotiations, urgent compromise and urgent constitutional reform," Levchenko said.

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