Ukraine has refused to discuss at a Contact Group security subgroup session the release of representative of the Lugansk People’s Republic at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) Andrey Kosyak who was abducted by Kiev forces, press secretary of the LPR delegation in the Contact Group Maria Kovshar said.
“The Ukrainian representative rejected the very opportunity to discuss the return of our monitor, saying that he was under investigation by Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies, and then just proceeded to discuss other issues,” Kovshar said.
A Ukrainian army special operations group captured representative of the LPR Office at the JCCC Andrey Kosyak in the Zolotoye security zone in the morning of October 13. After Kiev failed to immediately return the observer as the LPR demanded, LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik said that further dialogue with Kiev within the Minsk format made no sense until Ukraine had returned Kosyak. The LPR Office at the JCCC stopped contacts with Ukraine and limited a number of movement routes for OSCE monitors. During his visit to Lugansk, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Mark Etherington promised to thoroughly examine the circumstances behind the capture of the LPR officer by Ukrainian forces.
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. *i*s