On March 15, a regular meeting of the Contact group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass was held in Minsk. The meeting had on its agenda issues related to a failed separation of forces near Stanitsa Luganskaya, the situation in the area of the Donetsk filtration plant and the exchange of prisoners.
During the meeting, the permanent plenipotentiary representative of the DPR Denis Pushilin said that the representatives of Ukraine in Minsk negotiations had ‘tearfully assured’ us that the blockade of Donbass would be lifted.
ʺIt is cynical that the Ukrainian negotiators stated at the today’s meeting of the subgroup on the economy that they had already unblocked one railway crossing, while Mr. Poroshenko and the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine voted in favour of the imposition of a temporary total transport blockade of Donbass.
In my opinion, this decision is the most reckless step of the Ukrainian government. It is not a counter measure, as the Ukrainian press and policies try to present it, but the continuation of the total isolation of Donbass and genocide of its inhabitants. I am no longer talking about the losses for Ukraine itself, because the antics of rabid nationalists are very costly for its residents.
To my great disappointment, this decision, like the rest of other steps of radicals and the Ukrainian authorities to block the DPR and the LPR, will only widen the gap between us and significantly delay the arrival of peace in Donbass,ʺ Denis Pushilin emphasized.
According to the source in the Minsk peace talks, the regulation is the only document which, in the opinion of the representatives of the DPR and the LPR, would streamline the negotiating process, stop the dispute between negotiators and changing of the agreements reached, would even eliminate the possibility of ambiguity.
ʺThe negotiators from the DPR and the LPR, as well as the representatives of the Russian Federation and the OSCE coordinators, also spoke of the need for its adoption. All parties to the negotiating process, apart from Ukraine, represented their options. Even Ambassador Martin Sajdik developed and presented the Contact group’s own version of the rules. But the issue of its adoption was in fact postponed for a long six months.
This issue was on the agenda of the last five meetings, but the negotiators were never able to begin the debate on it.
Today, at the meeting in Minsk, Denis Pushilin drew the attention of the Contact group to the usefulness of the drafting and adoption of the rules and insisted on a mandatory discussion of the issue at the next meeting of the Contact group,ʺ the source said.