The Minsk Contact Group has a number of critical issues remain unresolved at the moment.
Despite ambitious statements of commitment to the Minsk agreements by the political leadership of the country, Kiev continues to escalate the armed conflict in Donbass. Ukraine is openly and publicly increasing the military group at the line of demarcation, and occupying new frontiers in the grey zone, approaching the positions of the militia army.
For more than half a year, Ukraine has failed to implement the decision of the Contact Group on the separation of forces and means at the three pilot areas, which does not allow for the establishment of disengagement along the entire boundary line. Thus, despite the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s documenting at least three periods of seven days of compliance by the parties with the “ceasefire”, Kiev sabotaged all attempts to separate forces and means near the Stanitsa Luganskaya.
The Amnesty Law for the parties of the conflict, as required by the Set of Measures, has not been signed by Poroshenko since 2014, which does not allow exchanging captives on “all for all” basis.
Instead, Kiev continues to impose a tactic of dividing the captives into categories and exchanging them with small groups, politically exploiting every exchange. Instead of implementing paragraph 8 of the Set of Measures on re-establishing of economic ties with Donbass, pensions and social benefits payment, Ukraine continues to strengthen the economic blockade of Donbass. Bans and restrictions on the supply of energy, water resources and banking services have been imposed since 2014 and all government agencies have ceased to work. A transport blockade of the railways was introduced in February 2017, aimed at the total destruction of the economy and the ecological and humanitarian disaster in the region. Enterprises with working collectives were abandoned and shutdown by Kiev and oligarchs.
The granting of special status to certain regions of Donbass (the main issue of the settlement of the political bloc of the Set of Measures) has been ignored by Ukraine so far. Despite the decisions of the “Normandy Four’s” leaders in 2015 and 2016 that the Special Status Act should be enacted in the “Steinmeier formula”, Ukraine, within the political working Group, was ready to talk about anything but not about the implementation of the “formula”.
We call upon Ukraine to stop sabotaging the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and to start complying with the Set of Measures of the Minsk agreements enshrined by the United Nations Security Council in February 2015.
Denis Pushilin, the permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR in the Contact group at negotiations in Minsk, the Chairman of the DPR People’s Council