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Ukraine Separatists Plan 'Summit Of Unrecognized States'

Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic
Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic

A top official from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) has said he will host a "summit of unrecognized states" in February or March if he can guarantee the security of its participants.

In an interview with the Donetsk-based Oplot-TV, Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the Moscow-backed DNR, said talks on the summit have already begun and that he hopes the meeting will result in a "League of New States."

Kofman listed representatives from Spain's Basque region, Belgium's Flanders region, Venice, Italy, and the U.S. state of Texas as potential participants. (There was no mention of Kosovo, which has been recognized by 108 states but notably not by Russia.)

Kofman's interviewer expressed particular interest in Texas, asking if there are "sprouts of support" in the U.S. state.

"There's more than sprouts," he said, adding that those in favor of Texas independence "fully support the Donetsk People's Republic."

WATCH: Oplot-TV interview with Aleksandr Kofman

A spokesperson for The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), which advocates Texas's secession from the United States, told RFE/RL in an e-mail that the group had not been invited to the event, but had recently communicated with DNR representatives at a December conference in Moscow hosted by the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia.

According to a press release about the conference, called "The Right of the People to Self-Determination and the Building of a Multi-Polar World," "the existing world order is depriving the inhabitants of "[the self-proclaimed confederation of] Novorossia, Flanders, Catalonia, Texas, Alaska, and others of the legitimate right to self-determination, guaranteed to them by the UN Charter."

George Contreras, the TNM representative, said his group would "welcome any further opportunities to dialogue with our global counterparts."

The DNR's Kofman said the only thing that would prevent the conference from happening would be if he was unable to provide sufficient security. And he suggested that the United States might seek to disrupt the gathering.

"I wouldn't risk gathering the leaders of all these republics and giving the disreputable United States the chance to solve all of its problem with one shot," he said, apparently intimating that Washington would order an attack on the conference.

Armed pro-Russian separatists have controlled some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine since April. While rebels in both regions have declared independent states, no countries have recognized them.

Quiz: Separatists Of The World...Disunite!

Quiz: Separatists Of The World...Disunite!

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    Glenn Kates

    Glenn Kates is the former managing editor for digital at Current Time, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA. He now reports for RFE/RL as a freelancer. 

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