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6 June 2019, 13:00

Minsk-2

Kiev changes position in Contact Group in name only – political scientist

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LUGANSK, June 6 (Lugansk Media Centre)  - The Minsk talks on Wednesday clearly showed that Kiev had changed its position in the Contact Group in name only, Centre for Current Politics director Alexey Chesnakov said.

“As it was predicted, Ukraine’s position remains essentially unchanged,” the Russian TASS news agency quoted him as saying. “Much was said about security, ceasefire and disengagement of forces as before.”  Yet again, the political subgroup’s work was completely disrupted. (Ukraine’s envoy to the Contact Group, second president) Leonid Kuchma blocked the discussion of Donbass special status. He acted the same way he did during Poroshenko’s presidency.”

“It clearly shows that Ukraine changed its position in the Contact group in words, but not in deeds,” the Russian expert said. “Rejoicing over a possible disengaged of forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya is misplaced. Ukraine had to carry it out back in 2016.  It is their duty, but they present it as a breakthrough as if they’re doing us a favor. Meanwhile, they do not mention Zolotoye and Petrovskoye, where the disengagement was foiled through their fault in gross violation of the decision made by the “Normandy Four” at the Berlin summit.”

“They promise to lift the Donbass economic blockade, but this is their duty, too. It was Ukraine that imposed the blockade in violation of the Minsk Agreements. So far, it is unclear how they are going to lift the blockade. It is a complicated issue; much remains vague.”

“Of course, the disengagement and blockade lifting would be good, but special status for Donbass makes the basis of the settlement. The Contact Group has to address this core issue simultaneously with the review of economic and security issues. We can hardly believe it because Ukrainian representative Kuchma has publicly stated that Ukraine would not give special status to Donbass. Consequently, the new Kiev authorities will bypass and dodge the special status issue in all ways.

“With this approach, the Minsk process will be indefinite and never lead to the final settlement of the conflict,” the Centre for Current Politics director said.

Earlier, Chesnakov said that Kuchma’s reappointment as Ukrainian envoy to the Contact Group showed Kiev’s unwillingness to honour the Minsk Agreements.

Following the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on Wednesday, Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Minsk talks, LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said that the LPR and Ukraine had confirmed the readiness to carry out disengagement of forces and hardware in Stanitsa Luganskaya area on June 10.

Also, the Donbass Republics offered Kiev to begin direct dialogue over lifting of the economic and humanitarian blockade of the region.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures. 

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.

LuganskMediaCentre — 06 June — Lugansk