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Regular meeting of Contact group on peaceful settlement of conflict in Donbass takes place in Minsk

On September 21, the meeting of the Contact group on the conflict settlement in Donbass was held in Minsk. The agenda included issues of compliance with armistice as well as discussion of the document on disengaging of sides.

During the meeting, the participants of the Contact group initialed a framework decision of the Trilateral contact group on disengaging of capabilities. Negotiators reached a consensus on all three points: Petrovskoye (DPR), Stanitsa Luganskaya and Zolotoe (LPR).

“According to the document, the lots for disengaging should be at least 2 km wide and 2 km in depth. Disengaging of forces will relieve tension in these areas, and the successful implementation this document will allow talking about disengaging of forces in other areas. For Donbass, it is a step up from the armistice to peace,” the source at peace negotiations informed from Minsk.

According to the source, progress in the security subgroup became a consequence of the serious pressure exerted recently on Ukraine.

“For the first time in a long time we saw a constructive dialogue with the Ukrainian side, the willingness to compromise and make decisions. If the same pressure of our partners was exerted on other subgroups, the negotiation process would be significantly intensified,” the source noted.

Despite the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the People’s Republics, which took place shortly before, the question of the exchange has become one of the most acute at today’s meeting of the Contact group.

“We understand that some of the representatives of Ukraine, instead of real work on the exchange of prisoners, are engaged in self-PR. However, we once again remind: the prisoner exchange is only possible when the adoption of the amnesty law, and only according to the formula “all for all.”

It is difficult to stop the prosecution of the unwanted for the Ukrainian government without the amnesty law. Without the adoption of the law the number of political prisoners in Ukrainian prisons will only grow,” the source added.

Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in political subgroup insisted on returning the work according to “Steinmeier’s formula.”

“Before the change of representatives of Ukraine the decision has already been made in the subgroup, but Ukraine, of course, rejected the previously agreed position with the arrival of new negotiators. Representatives of the People’s Republics insisted that the laws discussed in the subgroup should be addressed together. The election law should be discussed on the basis of the law on the Special Status, and the law on the Special Status cannot be discussed without amendments to the constitution of Ukraine and so on. One without the other cannot work. Moreover, the “Normandy Four” recommended work according to the “Steinmeier’s formula.” But here, again, we face the reluctance of the Ukrainian side to conduct a constructive dialogue,” the source concluded.

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