On July 19, Minsk hosted a regular meeting of the Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass was held in Minsk. The agenda included issues relating to the observance of the ceasefire regime, the implementation of the Agreement on the separation of forces and means in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya and the exchange of prisoners.
As part of the work of the Sub-group on economics, issues related to the lifting of the economic blockade of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, the payment of pensions and the water supply rehabilitation were discussed today.
ʺDespite Ukraine’s obligation, which is set out in the Set of Measures, to resume social payments or, at least, to simplify the present procedure, the Ukrainian side refuses once again, – the source present at the peaceful negotiations in Minsk reported. It is regrettable that Ukraine lobbies the decision only on issues of the agenda that affect the financial side and is absolutely unprepared to discuss and address issues affecting the lives and well-being of ordinary citizensʺ.
The source added that Ukraine continued to delay the process of exchanging prisoners.
ʺDespite lengthy negotiations and refinement of lists, a compromise has not yet been found. Moreover, the Ukrainian negotiators in the Contact Group questioned the need for a full amnesty for persons associated with the conflict in Donbass,ʺ the source said.
Debate on security issues has traditionally been the fiercest and most complicated today. The parties discussed the need to adhere to the previously announced “grain ceasefire”, as well as giving maximum attention to the establishment of security zones around water supply facilities.
In addition, the representatives of the People’s Republics insisted on the separation of forces and means at the third pilot site, in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya, in the next few days.
ʺIn view of the fact that the last shelling documented by the OSCE SMM was on July 13, there was no obstacles to separate forces and means, except for the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side. However, the parties were able to understand the need of separation of forces and means in this area, but a certain date was not planned,ʺ the source at the peaceful negotiation in Minsk said.