Ukrainian Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to take real steps to resolve conflict in Donbas

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to take real steps to resolve conflict in Donbas

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has called on Russia to take real steps towards resolving the armed conflict in Donbas in accordance with norms and principles of international law.

The ministry said this in a statement to mark the first anniversary of the Paris summit of Normandy Four countries.

According to the statement, since the Normandy Four summit, Ukraine, with the active mediation role of Germany and France, has made every effort to find viable ways to resolve the conflict peacefully and implement the provisions of the Common Agreed Conclusions of December 9, 2019.

In this context, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry recalled that due to the intensification of the Trilateral Contact Group's activity and the adoption of additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire in July 2020, the security situation in the conflict zone had stabilized and mutual detainee exchanges had been held in December 2019 and April 2020. In addition, the Ukrainian side has made important initiatives to ensure the further disengagement of troops and continue the demining process, and has taken other practical steps to ensure a sustainable security environment and improve the overall humanitarian situation in the conflict zone.

At the same time, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stressed that Ukraine's initiatives, as well as proposals to intensify the next stages of the mutual release of detainees, ensure the granting of full and unconditional access for international organizations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross, to all detainees, the opening and proper operation of checkpoints across the contact line to alleviate the situation of civilians, still remain without a proper response from the Russian side.

Also, due to the artificial blocking of the Trilateral Contact Group's work on political issues, there is no progress in the discussion of Ukraine's working proposals on the implementation of political aspects of the Common Agreed Conclusions of the Paris Summit of December 9, 2019, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

"Instead, we see continued restrictions in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in particular on freedom of movement and safe and unimpeded access for international organizations, primarily the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, throughout Ukraine to fully fulfill its mandate, including access to the temporarily uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

In this context, Ukrainian diplomats noted that illegal crossings of this section of the border by freight trains and truck convoys from Russia, delivering weapons to the temporarily occupied territory, are now common, and the OSCE SMM regularly reports these cases in its reports.

"Ukraine reaffirms its readiness to continue working within the Normandy format, which continues to play an important role, maintaining its relevance and demand, as well as on the TCG platform so as to implement the agreements reached by the leaders of the four countries and implement all agreed steps to resolve the conflict," the ministry said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry thanked Germany and France, as well as the OSCE, for their active mediation in resolving the conflict and efforts to return peace to Ukraine and restore Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Finally, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called on the Russian Federation to take all appropriate steps to continue the work of these formats in order to implement all decisions taken at the level of the leaders of the four countries, as well as to take real steps to resolve the armed conflict in accordance with norms and principles of international law, respect for Ukraine's state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The summit of the Normandy Four countries - Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia - took place in Paris on December 9, 2019.

The summit participants agreed on the exchange of conflict-related detainees according to the "all for all" principle, on a ceasefire and a partial disengagement of troops, and supported the creation of new crossing points along the line of contact.


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