US State Department voices concerns over ‘Little Russia’ project
"The so-called separatists - and notice I call them "so-called separatists" - want to see a new state. That new state would be in place of Ukraine. That is something that’s certainly an area of concern to us, but I just don’t - beyond that, I don’t want to dignify it with a response," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a project on establishing a new state - Malorossiya (a geographical and historical term referred to most of the territory of present-day Ukraine before 20th century) - that would be Ukraine’s successor and would include a number of its regions was announced at a public meeting in Donetsk. Two documents - a political declaration and a constitutional act - were adopted by voting. According to the project’s initiators, the initiative is geared "to stop the civil war and avoid further casualties."
The neighboring self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) said however it was not taking part in the project.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the idea of setting up a new state Malorossiya was a personal initiative of Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Commenting on this initiative, Russia’s chief negotiator in the Contact Group for settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said it doesn’t fit into the Minsk process and has no constitutive effects.