Ukraine’s “fantasy” to revise Minsk Agreements fraught with higher tensions in Donbass  – Nikonorova

January 23, 2020 15:32

Donetsk, Jan 23 – DAN. Any changes to the text of the Minsk Agreements might worsen the already tense situation in Donbass, Donetsk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group talks, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Kiev’s representative to the Contact Group subgroup for political issues Alexey Reznikov alleged in an interview with Novoye Vremya that the sequence of moves towards Donbass elections and handover of border control to Ukraine, as stated in the Minsk accords, had to be revised.

“The Minsk Agreements are a hard-earned compromise that helped, and is still helping prevent further hostilities unleashed by Kiev against its own people,” Nikonorova said. “Any revision might have a negative impact on the situation in the region. That is why we remain committed to the Package of Measures and strictly abide by our part of the obligations. However, a compromise implies mutual obligation of the sides.”

The DPR envoy urged the Ukrainian negotiators to give up the destructive policy pursued since the time of Petr Poroshenko’s team and not to waste time on senseless attempts to revise the document approved by the UN Security Council.

“The Ukrainian representatives in the political subgroup have to focus not on media provocations, but on their work within the scope of the Minsk process, in the first place on drawing and coordinating with us all the legal aspects of the special status, in order to ensure its permanent operation,” the DPR diplomat said.

She reminded that the synchronisation principle and parallel political and security moves had long been coordinated at the peace talks, including the “Normandy Four” meetings. “Any other “sequence” can only be a “fantasy” of certain Kiev officials who know little about the history of the negotiating process,” she added.

The Agreements dated and 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. Special status for Donbass is a key point of the political part of the agreements.*jk