Ukraine at TCG: Russia must formulate its vision of Minsk deal

Ukraine at TCG: Russia must formulate its vision of Minsk deal

The Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group for Donbas settlement believes it is difficult to count on any serious progress in talks on the political part of the Minsk agreements as the Russian side avoids expressing its vision of these documents.

That’s according to a statement the Ukrainian delegation posted on Facebook following the latest TCG video conference, Ukrinform reports.

The delegates stated that the Russian side had not articulated how they understood the Minsk agreements.

“The Ukrainian delegation reiterated that the basis for settlement is the implementation of the decisions reached by the leaders of the Normandy format, as well as the entire package of Minsk agreements,” noted the statement.

They also noted that, according to a report by the Head of the OSCE SMM, there had been an increase in interference by the Russian armed forces.

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"Among them are restrictions on freedom of movement, attempts to suppress control channels of the OSCE SMM surveillance UAVs, etc.  Thus, since July 27, 2020 (when additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire were approved), 744 cases where OSCE SMM operations were restricted have been recorded: 668 in the non-government-controlled territory, 71 - in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, and five in the gray zone," Ukrainian officials said.

In this context, they stressed that the systemic restrictions of the OSCE monitoring efforts by the occupation administrations not only grossly violate the main principles of a peaceful settlement, but also indicate Russia's unwillingness to implement the security part of the Normandy Four and Minsk agreements.

Members of the Ukrainian delegation also stated that the Russian side pursues the policy of limiting opportunities for citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories to cross to government-controlled territory, despite numerous calls by the Ukrainian side to allow them to receive assistance from Ukraine, including pensions and social benefits.

The Ukrainian delegation noted that during the meeting of the humanitarian subgroup, a proposal was put forward to return to Ukraine unilaterally the three women held in the uncontrolled territory in connection with the conflict, but Russian representatives never supported the idea. Neither did they show any interest in the fate of an earlier detained Russian citizen, Andriy Kosyak, as they expressed no will to discuss the issue, the Ukrainian delegates said.

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Participants in the subgroup on social and economic issues continued to discuss current issues of water supply and mobile communication. Particular focus was put on the need to remove restrictions for residents of uncontrolled areas to cross the line of contact. The participants in the meeting also agreed to consider the possibility of extending the terms of Oschadbank banking cards used to receive pensions due to the deteriorating epidemic situation of COVID-19.

"The Ukrainian delegation continues to insist on the need to release as soon as possible all those held in connection with the conflict, to open the crossing checkpoints, to strictly adhere to the ceasefire .and to implement the decisions of the Paris Summit," Ukraine said.

The next meeting of the TCG has been scheduled for November 10.


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