Donetsk, Sep 16 - DAN. OSCE special representative in the Contact Group Heidi Grau refused to send the video conference participants the written statements of the Donbass Republics’ positions on the political issues of talks, Donetsk People’s Republic representative in the Contact Group, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said on Wednesday.

“Today’s talks held by the group on political issues were brief: we did not hear a clear position from Ukraine, while coordinator for the OSCE Heidi Grau refused to circulate the written statements of the Republics’ positions among the participants, without explaining the reason for her decision,” Nikonorova said. “Apparently these facts are fraught with significant damage to the negotiations. It is particularly lamentable that coordinator Grau made this decision at the moment of crisis, following Ukraine’s deliberate derailing of the accord on joint inspection, which was reached at the extraordinary session on September 9.”

She reminded that the resolution by Ukraine’s parliament on local elections dated July 15, 2020, was the stumbling block in the political subgroup's work, as its Item 4 fully contradicted the Minsk accords.

As long as the resolution is effective in its current version, Ukrainian representatives in the Contact Group have no powers to discuss or coordinate anything, because the Ukrainian parliament, by making such decisions, cancels the Minsk Agreements, which in fact reflects the parliament’s non-recognition of its commitments under these documents, the DPR representative said.

She expressed concern that these events might bring the Donbass political settlement to a dead end through Ukraine’s fault.

Item 4 of the Ukrainian parliament’s resolution on local elections in Ukraine says that preliminary transfer to Kiev of the control of the border with Russia, withdrawal of all “illegal armed formations” and hardware, restoration of the “constitutional law and order” matching Ukraine’s current laws were the condition for holding the elections. These demands contradict the Minsk Agreements which envision a special status for the region, holding elections there under the terms coordinated directly with Donbass representatives, with the opportunity to discuss border control transfer following these steps.*jk