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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Luhansk Authorities Call on Kiev Forces, Local Militia to Negotiate

RIA Novosti

18:22 02/06/2014

MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – The authorities of Ukraine's Luhansk region urged all the fighting parties to put down the arms and come to the negotiation table, according to the statement published on Luhansk regional Council's web portal Monday.

"We once again urge both sides: put down the arms and sit at the negotiation table. For the sake of life saving, the future of our land and our children, it is possible and essential to find a compromise. All we need is peace. And only having reached it, we can continue discussions about our state and the status of our region within this state ', — the statement says.

Independence supporters have been struggling to gain control of the Ukrainian border service military base since early Monday morning. The last storm started at 7:00 a.m. local time (4:00 a.m. GMT).

According to Ukrainian State Border Service, at least five people died and 13 sustained injures in armed clashes between the self-defense forces and pro-Kiev military in the outskirts of the eastern city of Luhansk.

Mass anti-government protests began in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine in the end of February 2014 as a response of local residents to the military coup in Ukraine followed by an attempt of new authorities to abolish the law that insured the regional status of Russian language in those areas.

The Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics declared themselves independent states following the May 11 referendum and soon started to form governments and law enforcement agencies.

The interim Kiev government refused to recognize the legitimacy of any of these decisions and continued the military operation launched mid-April against the federalization protesters in the regions.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the new Kiev authorities for what it called 'a punitive operation' and stressed the need for de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.

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