30 March 2021, 20:00


Kiev reps in political subgroup fail to explain how “plan of steps,” “clusters” correlate - LPR delegation

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LUGANSK, March 30 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukrainian representatives at the video conference of the Contact Group subgroup on political issues on Tuesday failed to answer the question on how the Kiev-proposed “plan of steps” correlates with the Ukrainian version of the “key clusters” in Donbass settlement, press secretary of the Lugansk People’s Republic delegation in the Contact Group Maria Kovshar said.

In the autumn of 2020, France and Germany proposed to divide the Minsk Agreements into so-called “key clusters” giving them the form of recommendations for the Contact Group. Later on, Ukraine suggested its version of such clusters.

“When asked about the urgency of the draft plan of joint steps submitted by Ukraine, which was questioned due to considerable contradictions to the Ukrainian version of the “clusters” brought forward in February 2021 for discussion by the “Normandy Four”, Ukraine failed to give an answer again,” Kovshar said.

She said that Kiev representatives had said nothing as they were “reminded that the draft drawn by the subgroup, had to be aimed at comprehensive conflict settlement fully in line with the Minsk Agreements.”

LPR and DPR representatives in early October 2020 submitted a Road Map for consideration by the Contact Group. It is a step-by-step plan for comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict based on the Minsk Agreements. Following repeated attempts to avoid the work on the document, Kiev presented its own plan of joint steps a month later. It had not been coordinated in the Contact Group and reflected Kiev’s position which was at odds with the Minsk Agreements. It provides for border control transfer to Kiev ahead of local elections in Donbass, disbanding of the Republics’ People’s Militias, deployment of a police contingent of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, restoration of the banking and financial systems and Ukraine’s taking welfare commitments two years after the elections. On top of that, the Ukriane-proposed plan contains moves which imply interference in internal affairs of the Russian Federation and gives assignments to ministers and leaders of the Normandy Four countries (France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia).

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 — 30 March — Lugansk