20 July 2017, 18:20
Political group could not agree agenda because of Kiev’s position - envoy
LUGANSK, July 20 (Lugansk Media Center) – The political group participants were unable to agree the 19 July meeting agenda because of Kiev representatives’ positions, DPR envoy to Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego told a news briefing at Lugansk Media Centre on Thursday.
“Sadly, the political group has made no headway; it’s in the same deadlock as group coordinator for OSCE Pierre Morel sees it,” Deinego said.
“There’ve been some attempts to divert the discussion, but we managed to bring back the proposed version, where the Steinmeier formula tops the agenda.
“We had intensive bilateral consultations, but as the group was unable to coordinate the agenda at the plenary meeting, the discussion once again focused on the Steinmeier formula, which Ukraine seems to confirm; furthermore, they confirm that the formula should be applied for phased introduction of a special status.
“When the question was posed point-blank, i.e. whether Ukraine was ready to give political support to this formula for its subsequent implementation, Ukraine avoided voicing its position again, without saying “yes” or “no.” They already fear to say ‘no,’ yet they don’t want to say ‘yes,’ Deinego added.
The Steinmeier formula brought forward in late 2015 by the then German foreign minister, sets out the principles of implementation of the Ukrainian law "On local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk region". According to his plan, the law should be enforced on the day of local elections on a temporary basis, and permanently upon the OSCE publishing its report on the elections outcome.
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 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. The all-for-all prisoner exchange is a key point of the Package of Measures.
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 — 20 July — Lugansk
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