The Ukrainian representative to the political subgroup of the Minsk Contact Group, in his recent interview, actually stated the refusal to fulfil the Minsk Agreements. In is unclear though whether Kiev will again say that he “was expressing his own viewpoint, not Ukraine’s official position” and dismiss from the Minsk negotiating platform as was the case in 2016.
Ukraine’s official obligations are spelled out a number of documents signed by its official representative Leonid Kuchma.
The term “special status” was added to the Minsk talks vocabulary by Protocol 5 dated September 2, 2014. “3. Decentralisation of power, including through the adoption of the Ukrainian law "On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts” (Law on Special Status). It is unprofessional to try to challenge this term, especially for a Minsk talks participant.
As for the legal status of the Ukrainian obligations undertaken in Minsk, The package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015, was approved and secured by UN Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015). The Package of Measures not only defines the special status (regarded by Mr Bessmertny as “non-existing”), but also directly states the necessity of its cementing in the Ukrainian Constitution, as well as the adoption of permanent legislation on a special status (Item 11 of the Package of Measures).
Kiev will have to stop juggling the words and start fulfilling all the obligations undertaken within the framework of the Minsk talks.
“As for Bessmertny’s wish to stop supplies of water, electricity, cargoes to the occupied territories and stop all the works in the Stanitsa Luganskaya area, we are already experiencing it for the most part. We are under economic, energy and transport blockade. Ukraine periodically stops water supply, though they have to resume it under the pressure of international organisations. The repairs of the Stanitsa Luganskaya bridge blown up by Ukrainian gunmen in March 2015, have been blocked by Kiev from the very beginning of the blasting. Even the attempts by the International Committee of the Red Cross, made since 2017, have been unavailing. It was only recently that Ukraine agreed to bridge repairs, with its participation. But if Ukraine fails to fulfil its obligations as it has repeatedly done, we are ready to carry out both our and their parts of repairs in case international observers ensure our safety and the opportunity to work.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lugansk People’s Republic
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