Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Donetsk People's Republic

Results of the Contact group sitting (13 October)

13 October 2021
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Today’s sitting of the Contact Group began with a proposal by the OSCE coordinator in the political group Ms. Bermann to abandon the Roadmap because it is allegedly "a factor that blocks negotiations." This conclusion was made by the OSCE representative in connection with the fact that a year has passed since the order was made by the Contact Group, but no progress has yet been made.

 “However, such a logic seems to us extremely strange: if a given order has not been fulfilled in a year, it is necessary not to refuse it, but to figure out for what reasons it was not done and who is responsible for this sabotage. Moreover, the answers to these questions are well known: Republics’ representatives even before the appearance of the relevant instructions developed and sent their draft Roadmap, but Kiev for a whole year and after instructions did not bother to take a single constructive step in the work on this document. The Ukrainian negotiators could neither send their responses to our project, nor bring their version in line with the Minsk agreements. At the same time, the OSCE coordinator's argument that refusing to discuss the Roadmap will help start a dialogue on other issues on the political agenda does not stand up to criticism,since the Roadmap is precisely the instrument for a comprehensive settlement that includes all aspects and issues.

Therefore, we once again outliined our position: we do not agree to refuse to work on this document, the need for which was not invented by us, but caused by the objectively existing realities. If Ukraine showed a substantive readiness for effective activities to implement the Package of measures and did not undertake provocative actions and attempts to edit it by internal legislation or its own projects in the Contact Group, then it is obvious that no Roadmaps and other auxiliary steps would be required. But due to the fact that there is no such readiness, but there is a complete unwillingness to work productively on a political settlement, the issue of working on the Roadmap continues to be an acute, urgent and priority item on the agenda.

We also drew the attention of the OSCE coordinator Mr. Kinnunen to the extremely alarming situation that is emerging today both on the negotiating platform and on the contact line. Ukraine openly sabotages clear and fixed commitments under the Minsk agreements, trying to dictate to us who to include and whom to exclude from our delegation through absurd, completely illegal convictions in absentia of our representatives for fictitious crimes. Moreover, the Ukrainian authorities not only disavowed one of the Measures to strengthen the ceasefire regime, they increase shellings and stubbornly refuse to work on agreeing an addendum to the Measures in terms of the coordination mechanism. Today they also kidnapped an officer of the LPR representative office in the JCCC in violation of all possible security guarantees and his observer status, and all calls for his immediate release were cynically ignored” - Natalia Nikonorova stated.

In such circumstances we consider the absence of a proper response from the OSCE unacceptable. We hope that the mediators represented by this international organization will refrain from unconstructive statements in the future and, within the framework of their activities at the Minsk site, will be guided primarily by the principles of neutrality and impartiality, since only such principles can really contribute to dialogue between the parties in the name of escalation reducing. And we recommend that the Ukrainian authorities not even hope that they will get away with openly sabotaging their obligations under the agreements and instructions reached.