On April 7, 2021, eight months later, the Ukrainian side was finally able to take the step that should have been taken from July 22 to July 27, 2020 and publish a statement fully in line with the agreements of the Contact Group dated July 22, 2020 on the official resource of its Ministry of Defense. We welcomed this fact.
In order to prevent violations of the agreed agreements, Republics prepared and sent for approval a draft joint statement of the Contact Group, which sets out clear practical steps to implement the current version of the Measures. In particular, it reflects the concretization of the modalities of the coordination mechanism for the suppression and verification of violations with the participation of the JCCC in the current composition.
However, and, unfortunately, the Ukrainian side was concerned only with the image of a "good face during a bad game", and not with real resolving the key issue: ensuring in practice a stable, complete and indefinite ceasefire regime, in effect from July 21, 2019 of the year, and Measures to strengthen it from July 22, 2020.
The head of the Ukrainian delegation continued to insist on the immediate adoption of an emasculated and empty "political" statement of readiness to implement additional Measures. Moreover, without specifying which parties are responsible for their implementation.
We tried to reach a compromise, proposing to declare that the coordination mechanism within the JCCC in its current composition will resume its full-fledged work from 00:01 on April 8. The attempt failed.
It is noteworthy that at the end of the meeting, a substantive direct conversation of representatives of the Republic took place with the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Mr. Ermak, who came to the meeting.
However, instead of constructively discussing practical actions to prevent violations of the Measures signed earlier by the parties, the head of the presidential office further emasculated the Ukrainian proposal to the level of an absolutely empty statement-slogan about “no obstacles” to the implementation of additional measures.
To rectify the situation, the OSCE Coordinator suggested that the participants of the Contact Group, following the meeting, instruct the working group on security issues in the framework of the next meetings to work out a draft joint statement for its further approval. However, we recall that such an order was already given earlier, after the Ukrainian sparty thwarted an agreed joint inspection to verify AFU violations in the area of the settlement of Shumy September last year.