14 March 2018, 17:31


Kobtseva: Kiev representatives missing at Minsk meeting, no progress made

LUGANSK, March 14 (Lugansk Media Centre) – The humanitarian working group of the Contact Group meeting in Minsk was inconclusive due to the absence of Kiev's representatives, said LPR representative in the Contact Group humanitarian subgroup Olga Kobtseva.

"The meeting ended without any suitable outcome. The reason is, in the first place, the absence of Kiev's representatives – Viktor Medvedchuk and Irina Geraschenko. The Ukrainian side was represented by experts only whose powers are limited to listening and passing information from meetings to their bosses," Kobtseva explained.

She added that Alain Aeschlimann, the head of the ICRC delegation to Ukraine, who had been invited to the meeting, presented no valuable information concerning the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge reconstruction.

"The absence of Ukrainian authorized representatives has become another evidence of the Kiev's lack of diligence when it comes to detainees exchange or bridge reconstruction," Kobtseva said.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint at the line of contact in LPR area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic here is possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 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.

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 — 14 March — Lugansk