Asked at a Tuesday briefing to address the said announcement by a Donbas militant boss, Nauert said: “So here’s what we had heard: that 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.”
As UNIAN reported earlier, the so-called leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ("DPR"), Alexander Zakharchenko, on July 18 announced the creation of a new separatist entity, "the state of Malorossiya," suggesting the introduction of a state of emergency in Ukraine for three years, according to Russia's news agency Interfax.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko later the same day said: “The Novorossiya project has been buried. Ukraine will regain sovereignty over Donbas and Crimea," according to the president’s press secretary, Svyatoslav Tsegolko.
There also came reports that the so-called leaders of the other self-proclaimed territory in Donbas, Luhansk People's Republic, said they had not participated in a meeting on the establishment of "Malorossiya."