The Lugansk People’s Republic is hoping that the new Contact Group coordinator for the OSCE Mikko Kinnunen will succeed in having Ukraine unblock the work of the political subgroup, the LPR Foreign Ministry said.
The Contact Group and its subgroups’ first round of talks after the summer hiatus will take place according to schedule. The subgroup on political settlement and the subgroup on humanitarian issues will meet at 9:00 on August 25, while the subgroup on economic and rebuilding issues and the subgroup on security issues are due to begin talks at 14:00. The Contact Group is to meet at 13:00 on Thursday, August 26.
“It is going to be the first Contact Group meeting in which Mr Mikko Kinnunen will take part as coordinator. We express the hope that the coordinator will be able to make Ukraine unblock the work of the subgroup on political issues,” the LPR Foreign Ministry said.
“The Contact Group subgroups will work on the issues where no progress had been made before; all the meetings will be held online due to COVID-19 restrictions, “ LPR diplomats said.
Earlier, LPR representative in the Contact Group subgroup on political issues Rodion Miroshnik said that the previous Contact Group coordinator for the OSCE Heidi Grau had urged Ukrainian representatives at one of the meetings to unblock the work of the Contact Group political subgroup.
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.
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.*i*t