Kiev Tramples on Minsk Agreements

Kiev Tramples on Minsk Agreements

Kiev refused to comply with the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements signed on February 12, 2015 and Resolution 2202 (February 17, 2015) of the United Nations Security Council which calls on the parties to implement the accords aimed at peaceful settlement in Eastern Ukraine. 

Point 1 of the Package is not complied with. After February 15 Ukraine continued attacks against the airport in Donetsk, its military shelled Luhansk and Gorlovka. Azov battalion continued attacks near Mariupol. The parties had to withdraw heavy weapons from a fixed dividing line till February 26. The Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic did it in time. This fact was confirmed by the observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. At the same time international observers failed to achieve access to some positions of Ukrainian forces. They also failed to confirm the fact that Ukrainian heavy weapons got to the places of destination being withdrawn from forward edge battle area. 

On March 17, the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) overtly and completely broke the Minsk agreements by declaring the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics "temporarily occupied territories". Rada postpones the introduction of the new status until the regions hold new elections under Ukrainian laws. Until then the Ukrainian MPs said that the two republics will be recognized as ‘temporary occupied territories’ and voted that the status should remain until the Ukrainian military fully restores control. The draft law says it is necessary for the parliament to recognize the fact that the Russia’s armed forces have occupied a part of Ukrainian territory to put forward a consolidated claim to the Russian Federation regarding its armed aggression against Ukraine. 

Besides these ungrounded accusations and the attempts to present the civil conflict as interstate, the declaration is in stark violation of Minsk protocol. For instance, the Ukrainian law on temporary self-rule for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk does not define the borders of the self-ruled territory where it is effective. The changes inserted by Rada into the law are in stark contrast with the Minsk accords. Breaching the United Nations resolution Rada stated that the points 2-9 of the Package of Measures become effective only on the day the local organs of power assume authority after being elected in line with Ukrainian laws at snap election. It applies to the following points of the Package: pardon and amnesty by banning any prosecution of figures involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk conflict, restoration of full social and economic links with affected areas, cross border cooperation with Russia and creation of local militia. According to Minsk accords, the talks on local elections were to be launched on the next day after the withdrawal of heavy weapons in the framework of the Tripartite Liaison Group. Until now Kiev has been refusing to start such talks. 

In line with Minsk accords, holding elections is not related to pardon and amnesty and exchange of prisoners on the basis of «all for all». The return of prisoners is to be completed at the latest on the fifth day after the military withdrawal. The amnesty is to become a law of Ukraine. None of the provisions mentioned above have been carried out. 

Instead of full restoration of the socio-economic relations with the Donbass Ukraine strengthens the blockade of the region. The Ukrainian authorities don’t let pass cargo with medicals and foodstuffs, social pays are still frozen. Moreover, President Petro Poroshenko gave an order to erect fortified positions around the territory of Donbass under the insurgents’ control. Ukrainian authorities place stamps in passports of those who cross the border with the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics like if confirming the fact that the Donbass is not part of Ukraine anymore! 

Declaring the self-proclaimed republics occupied territories till the restoration of Ukraine’s control over the state border, Kiev violates point 9 of Minsk memorandum which states that the control is to be restored gradually after holding snap elections and terminated after complete political settlement. In its turn, it presupposes a constitutional reform coordinated with the representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions including decentralization which would take into consideration the special features of the republics. It also includes adopting a law on special status of the regions. All these points of Minsk accords are ignored by Kiev. 

Ukraine also ignores the fact that the withdrawal of mercenaries, weapons and disarmament of illegal armed formations applies first of all to Western instructors, operatives of private military contractors and Pravy Sector militants, volunteer battalions and private armies of Ukraine’s oligarchs. Instead Kiev asks for sending in international armed formations under the disguise of United Nations peacekeepers. 

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After the Minsk talks First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy arrived in Washington to present a full list of the weapons Ukraine's security agencies say the country needs to continue the war, including anti-armor and air defense systems. There are many witnesses testifying to the fact that Parubiy was involved in killing innocent people by «unknown snipers’ in February 2014. No matter that he was received in the United States like if he were the next Ukrainian President. A number of US leading politicians and military support the Kiev’s militarist aspirations, including a group of senators headed by Senator John McCain, State Secretary John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, former State Secretary Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate, General Philip Breedlove, Commander, US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Allied Command Operations, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and others. Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of Georgia is known for his extravagant behavior. He openly admitted that Ukraine fights for US interests. 

Ukraine relies on the United States support. In a one fell swoop the Ukrainian authorities made null and void the success achieved at the talks held in Minsk. All the peacekeeping efforts applied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande went down the drain. I wonder what the heads of two leading European states are going to say now?