The people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) are "by definition" cannot be engaged in talks with Kiev on imposing martial law in Ukraine and Donbass, a Lugansk negotiatior said on Thursday.
Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko earlier claimed President Pyotr Poroshenko is engaged in secret talks with unnamed leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk, aimed at escalating tensions in Donbass. The deteriorating situation in the East will allow the president to impose the martial law, effectively making the March 2019 presidential elections impossible.
"The only format in which LPR and DPR are negotiating with Kiev is the Minsk format, and such discussions there are impossible by definition," said Rodion Miroshnik, the LPR representative to the political subgroup of the Contact Group on Ukraine.
He added that imposing the martial law is the Ukrainian president’s executive prerogative, and, therefore, "there is absolutely no reason for him to negotiate it, let alone engage in separate negotiations, with leaders of the Donbass republics."
"The martial law is imposed by a presidential decree. Moreover, his decrees have no legitimacy on the territory of DPR and LPR. Besides, the martial law in the republics was declared in May 2014 and is still in place," Miroshnik said.
The LPR negotiator believes that those rumors should be viewed as "the pre-election ‘exchange of fire’ between the presidential candidates, which has no relation to the Donbass republics whatsoever."