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30 July 2020, 19:23

MILITARY&DEFENCE

Minsk-2

Kiev’s free interpretation of additional measures puts stabilisation in doubt - Deinego

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LUGANSK, July 30 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev’s free interpretation of the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire puts in doubt the new attempt to stabilise the situation on the contact line, Lugansk People’s Republic representative to the Minsk talks, LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said.

Although the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire signed by the Contact Group participants on July 22, 2020, “directly prohibit any changes to these measures, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, on its official website, changed the text which states these measures, Deinego said.

“Such free interpretation by Ukraine of the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire puts in doubt our new attempt to stabilise the situation on the contact line and secure progress from Ukraine in peaceful conflict settlement issues, and again underscores the manipulative nature of Ukrainian authorities’ actions both towards Donbass residents and international commitments, including those made before European mediators,” he said.

He noted that “Ukraine, in the course of talks, was making all efforts to shift the responsibility for opening fire from the Ukrainian army command to unit commanders,” however, at the July 22, 2020 talks, international mediators helped defend the following wording “retaliatory fire in case of an offensive is allowed only if it is opened on the order of appropriate command of the Ukrainian armed forces or LPR, DPR People's Militia after unsuccessful attempt to employ the coordination mechanism which has to be designed within the framework of the Minsk process.”

However, neither the document signed at the Minsk talks, nor the insistent recommendations by the “Normandy Four” could stop the Ukrainian Defence Ministry from completely twisting its meaning: “ in case of a violation of the ceasefire regime by the enemy and a threat to the lives of Ukrainian service personnel, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the right to respond to enemy’s fire,” said Deinego citing the version of the additional measures edited by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

The Republic’s authorised representatives urged Ukraine to “prevent the escalation of the conflict and abide by the commitments on peaceful settlement of the conflict which Ukraine undertook earlier.”

On Thursday, Kiev forces shelled LPR militia positions in the Golubovskoye settlement area violating the Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire agreed by the Contact Group, which came into force at 00:01, July 27. The strike was delivered after the Ukrainian Defence Ministry published a report on Ukrainian servicemen’s independent decision on opening fire.

The Contact Group coordinated the introduction of additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire starting at 00:01, July 27 at the July 22 videoconference.  The document bans offensive or reconnaissance operations, use of any aerial vehicles, fire including sniper fire, deployment of heavy weapons to populated areas and adjacent territories, first of all, to civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals and public premises. It provides for effective implementation of disciplinary measures against violators of the ceasefire and notification the Contact Group Coordinator thereof, who further notifies all its participants; establishing and employing a coordination mechanism for reacting to ceasefire violations with assistance of the JCCC with its current membership; retaliatory fire in case of an offensive is allowed only if it is opened on the order of appropriate command of the Ukrainian armed forces or LPR, DPR People's Militia after unsuccessful attempt to employ the above mentioned mechanism. The Contact Group shall be notified of such orders.

The LPR People’s Militia said that on July 26, the order envisioned by the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire was communicated to the militiamen.

The members of the Contact Group have announced ceasefire more than 20 times since the autumn of 2014. Kiev forces regularly violated the truce opening fire with large calibre artillery, mortars and tank guns which were to have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

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.

LuganskMediaCentre — 30 July — Lugansk