Ukrainian representatives have derailed the work of the Contact Group subgroup on humanitarian issues, press secretary of the Lugansk People’s Republic delegation in the Contact Group Maria Kovshar said.
“Ukraine has detailed the work of the humanitarian subgroup: the Ukrainian representatives left the session in the first minutes,” Kovshar said. “As before, Ukraine uses far-fetched organizational issues to block the subgroup’s work.”
“Furthermore, the Ukrainian representative permitted herself to make insulting remarks concerning a Donbass representative which is inadmissible under international norms and standards for diplomatic negotiations,” the press secretary said.
She said that the real reason behind the derailment of the group’s work was “Ukraine’s absolute inability and complete reluctance to fulfil the obligations it undertook.”
“For almost three years, Ukraine has not been meeting its commitment on dropping the criminal prosecution which is an essential condition for completing the prisoner exchanges of 2019 and 2020. Up to date, Kiev has not coordinated the critical conditions for simultaneous opening of two new crossing points on the contact line, and it looks like it’s not going to do so,” Kovshar said.
“The Ukrainian delegation cannot offer any coherent explanation for its inaction and destructive position, so its systemic demarche under far-fetched pretexts probably stems from here,” she added.
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*s