15 December 2020, 19:45



Humanitarian subgroup yields no results in 2020 because of Kiev - Kobtseva

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LUGANSK, December 15 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The Contact Group humanitarian subgroup has failed to achieve any substantial results in 2020, Lugansk People’s Republic representative in the subgroup, head of the LPR working group on prisoner exchange Olga Kobtseva said following the final video conference of the humanitarian subgroup this year.

“The humanitarian group has held the final session this year. Regrettably, it has been a sad year, if we are to sum up the results of the group’s work,” Kobtseva said.  “The humanitarian subroup has been unable to resolve the issues set out by the “Normandy Four” in the final communique in December 2019.”

“No matter how vocal (Ukrainian President Vladimir) Zelensky is on fulfilling his obligations, no matter how loud Ukrainian speakers are on implementing the Minsk Agreements, the result regrettably leaves much to be desired; there’s no result,” she said.

In 2020, the humanitarian subgroup, through Ukraine’s fault, was unable to agree on the operation of the new checkpoints and new prisoner exchanges and make headway in the search for the missing persons.

“We repeatedly confirmed our readiness (to resolve agenda items); we confirmed our readiness today as well, but alas, it’s a hard fact that the year 2020 was the worst year in terms of (the humanitarian subgroup’s) work at the Minsk talks because of Ukraine,” the LPR representative said.

The main reason behind this inefficiency is Kiev’s refusal to work within the framework of the Minsk Agreements, she said.

“As the negotiator and opponent at the talks, Ukraine is not ready to meet its commitments today. In actual fact, we can say that the incumbent authorities are not ready to make a political decision and make peace in Donbass,” Kobtseva said.

The next session of the Contact Group’s subgroup on humanitarian issues will take place in January 2021.

“We very much hope that in January, Ukrainian representative will be present at the talks with productive proposals on implementing the Minsk Agreements,” Kobtseva said.

The Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014. Conflict settlement relies on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarussian capital by the Contact Group members and coordinated by the Normandy Four heads of states (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution No 2202 of February 17, 2015 and called upon the parties to ensure its implementation.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

To facilitate the work of the Contact Group, four working groups were set up under its aegis to deal with issues of security, politics, return of internally displaced people and refuges, as well as with social, humanitarian, economic and rehabilitation issues.

LuganskMediaCentre — 15 December — Lugansk