29 Oct 2019 13:51

Luhansk did not expect Kyiv to begin Zolote disengagement, fears provocations

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) - Luhansk and Donetsk view Kyiv's unexpected announcement of disengagement in the Zolote pilot area as a possible provocation.

"Kyiv did not notify [us] in advance about its readiness to disengage. So, it could be a provocation aimed to catch the LPR [self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic] militia off guard and to accuse it of being unprepared for withdrawal," a source in the LPR government told Interfax.

The source did not rule out that the disengagement attempt would actually be made.

"We stand ready to disengage, we have taken multiple attempts to withdraw weapons in Zolote, and have demonstrated our preparedness. We are ready to pull out weapons on the principles of reciprocity as agreed in Minsk," the source said.

Donetsk has also expressed skepticism about Kyiv's announcement of the beginning disengagement process.

"No requests from Kyiv for preparing for the Petrivske disengagement were received through the OSCE on Tuesday," a source in the government of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic told Interfax.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko announced the beginning of the disengagement process in Zolote on the contact line with the LPR earlier on Tuesday.