Donetsk, Oct 20 – DAN. Donbass will follow its own agenda if Kiev refuses to implement the Minsk Agreements, the Donetsk People’s Republic representative at the Contact Group talks Natalia Nikonorova said in comments on Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Reznikov’s remarks on the search for new solutions to resolve the conflict in the region.
Reznikov said in an interview to the Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper that Minsk was not the venue where a peace deal could be reached and suggested signing other accords, for example the Stockholm accords to which Ukraine would add a provision on transferring the control over the border between Donbass and Russia before giving a special status to the region and holding elections there.
“Our position on the issue is simple: if Ukraine decides to conclude certain Stockholm agreements with somebody or some other accords, it is its right and internal affair. However, this vigorous activity will definitely have nothing to do with the Republics: we’ll go our own way according to our internal agenda,” Nikonorova said in a statement received by the Donetsk News Agency.
She also expressed surprise at the fact that the Ukrainian deputy prime minister’s remarks contradicted President Vladimir Zelensky who reiterated Ukraine’s commitment to the Package of Measures and other Minsk package documents at the “Normandy Four” summit on December 9, 2019.
“It’s reasonable to ask whether such remarks by Mr Rreznikov have to be viewed as the official position of the Ukrainian president or has chaos in that country reached the level where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and the head is absolutely blind and deaf?” Nikonorova said.
Apparently Kiev is not going to fulfil its part of the Minsk Agreements, and suggests signing new ones which would be convenient to Ukraine. “We want to give advice to the international actors with whom Ukraine wants to conclude agreements: you have to think well before trusting the signatory such as Kiev; it will delay the implementation of accords for six years after signing, and then it will renounce its commitments and sign new deals with someone else,” the DPR representative said.
The Agreements dated September 5 and 19, 2014 and February 12, 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict. The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
It envisioned immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass, withdrawal of heavy weapons, establishment of security zones, discussion of the modalities for the resumption of payment of pensions and allowances to DPR and LPR citizens, and constitutional reform in Ukraine which should result in deep decentralisation. At the same time, Donbass has to hold elections and get a special status (the right to have its own police, courts, prosecutor’s offices, self-determination for language, cooperation with Russia etc.) Next, it would be possible to discuss with Kiev the transfer of control over the border with Russia. Experts say that if Ukraine gets control of the border before the political settlement, Kiev’s next step would be to strangle the DPR and the LPR.*jk