Authorities from eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics on Wednesday ruled out compromise with Ukraine, which gave the regions a “temporarily occupied” status on Tuesday according to a law. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, condemned the rebel status and called the move an attempt to turn all previous deals topsy-turvy.
Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and Igor Plotnitsky, the head of Luhansk People's Republic, said Wednesday that the special status accorded to the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, has been weakened by amendments to the law.
"We agreed to a special status for the Donbass within a renewed Ukraine, although our people wanted total independence. We agreed to this to avoid the spilling of fraternal blood," a statement from the two leaders said, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The pro-Russian separatist leaders in the region had also pushed for changes to be made in the constitution, which would allow them to share power. The rebel leaders claim that the real authority lies with powerful businessmen, AP reported.
“The DPR and LPR announce that there can be no compromises with Kiev until yesterday’s shameful decisions by [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament] are changed,” Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky said, in a statement, according to Sputnik News, which cited the Luhansk Information Center. “Having accepted the documents that were not agreed with us, Kiev has shown its inability to negotiate.”
The law, granting autonomy to the eastern cities, was approved by the Ukrainian parliament, but Russia and its supporters criticized it because of the several changes that were made to it. Lavrov, on Wednesday, said that Ukraine’s way of approving the law was a “glaring violation” of the deal brokered by the European Union. He added that it may risk the settlement, which was reached with the rebels last month, RFE/RL news agency reported.
“The Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament] made decisions, proposed by [President Petro] Poroshenko, which essentially rewrite the agreement, or, to put it simply, grossly violate them,” Lavrov said, according to Sputnik News, adding that he contacted his counterparts in Germany and France to look into the “blatant violations of the very first steps of the Minsk political package.”
"What comes out of parliament's decree is that only when these territories are led by somebody suitable for Kiev will the law on special status come into effect," Lavrov said, according to AP, adding: "That is an attempt to turn everything that was agreed upon on its head."