The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic operates on the basis of the Constitution of the DPR, the Regulation on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic, approved by the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People's Republic of May 31, 2016 №7-20, guided by the laws, regulations of the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People's Republic and also international agreements of the Donetsk People's Republic.
During the reporting year the structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was optimized, emphasis was shifted and the priorities of the work were changed to create the most efficient operating executive body for the implementation of the foreign policy of the Donetsk People's Republic.
The close relationship and compliance with internal policy, reflecting the interests of the people of Donetsk People's Republic, expressed through the institutions of direct and representative democracy, the foreign policy of the Donetsk People's Republic aims to create favorable external conditions for the political, social and economical development, increasing and strengthening of international cooperation, modernization of the main areas of the government activity.
In 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic had faced the following challenges:
- achieving sustainable peace in the framework of the Minsk negotiation process between the Donetsk People's Republic and Ukraine;
- ensuring the political dialogue on resolving the conflict and establishing possible political relations with Ukraine jointly with the international community through the mechanisms of diplomacy;
- development of friendly relations with the post-Soviet countries and the use of various mechanisms for participation in the Eurasian integration processes;
- development of cooperation and strengthening of mutually beneficial partnerships in various areas with foreign states, international organizations (including the UN system) and international economical, financial and humanitarian institutions and foundations, non-governmental organizations of various level;
- use of public diplomacy mechanisms to achieve the main objectives of the Donetsk People's Republic foreign policy;
- creation of a positive image of the Donetsk People's Republic on the international scene.
The project of Foreign Policy Concept of the Donetsk People's Republic has been drafted to maximize the efficient and uniform foreign policy strategy and international relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic. In the case of agreement the project can be approved by the Head of the DPR for 2017.
1. Minsk Process
Achieving sustainable peace through diplomatic means in the Minsk negotiation process, representation of the Republic in the political group, the implementation of the Package of Measures are the fundamental tasks that have been solved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic during the reporting period.
Donetsk People's Republic as an internationally-recognized party of the process on resolving the armed conflict in its territory is interested and takes an active part in establishing peace and stability on the basis of equality and mutual respect of the parties of the negotiation process under the mediation of the guarantor countries: the Russian Federation, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the OSCE.
We are in favor of strict and rigorous compliance with all the documents signed by all parties of the conflict (the Protocol of the Tripartite Contact Group of 05.09.2014, Memorandum of 19.09.2014, aimed at implementation of the Peace Plan of the President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko and the President of the Russia Federation V.Putin, Package of Measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements of 15.02.2015) and do everything necessary to implement the Minsk agreements. Also Donetsk People's Republic, not being the member of the United Nations, takes all measures to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2202 of 17.02.2015 for resolving the conflict by peaceful diplomatic methods.
In the course of the Minsk process, the Donetsk People's Republic has already established itself as a reliable partner in the negotiations for implementation its obligations.
During the reporting period, in order to promote progress in the negotiations some versions of bills were presented to the Ukrainian party, namely: "On the specifics of the local elections", draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, draft amendments to the article 10 of the Law "On special procedure of local government in some regions of Donetsk and Luhansk", "On the prevention of harassment of persons involving in the Donbass conflict." In addition, the roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements was twice proposed. But, unfortunately, Kiev continues to sabotage the negotiation process, complicating it.
2. Multilateral Public Diplomacy
An important area of the Donetsk People's Republic foreign policy is multilateral diplomacy, as well as cooperation with international political and social organizations. Compared with 2015, twice as many delegations from countries nearest and far abroad have visited the Donetsk People's Republic. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 53 delegations from the Russian Federation, the Luhansk People's Republic, the Republic of South Ossetia, AbkhaziaRepublic, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Finland, Serbia and the CzechRepublic have visited the Donetsk People’s Republic.
In 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized the visits of the representatives of France and the CzechRepublic and the representatives of public-political organization "People's Militia". The main purpose of the visit was to collect evidence of war crimes of Ukraine against Donbass people for further dissemination of information to the general public in France, the CzechRepublic and Europe. During the visit, the delegates had the meetings with representatives of the DPR Bar Council, representatives of the DPR and LPR leadership, prisoners of war. Also, the package of documents with the evidence of war crimes against residents of Donbass was handed over to the representatives of France and the CzechRepublic.
During the reporting year, the DPR Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized and held several round tables. In particular, on January 27, 2016 the DPR Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized a round table on "Genocide in the modern world and its international consequences (example of the conflict in Donbass)", dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. During the meeting, participants discussed the facts of neo-Nazism and xenophobia in the modern world and their consequences in Ukraine.
On May 11, 2016 the Donetsk People's Republic celebrated the second anniversary. The guests from South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Luhansk People's Republic, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, Italy and Finland were invited to take part in the celebration. The organization of the visit of the foreign guests and their support were provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, the employees of the Ministry ensured a protocol providing of the foreign delegations of the summits. During the visit the delegates participated in the round table "Donbass struggle for its independence", organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participation of foreign delegations in such activities has become a major precondition for the further strengthening of international relations and cooperation of the Donetsk People's Republic with other countries in the economical, cultural, social and other spheres.
To the Children’s Day Donetsk was visited by the UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic, whose visit was also provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Simonovic saw destruction cased by the attacks of Ukraine, as well as made sure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in relation to prisoners.
In 2016 the global public interest of the Donetsk People's Republic is significantly increased. In order to monitor the Primaries, the Republic was visited by international observers from Serbia, Finland, Germany, Italy, South Ossetia, Greece, the CzechRepublic and other countries. The comments of international observers who were present at all stages of preparation and holding of the Primaries reflect that fact, that this process corresponded to the international standards of the OSCE on organizing and conducting the electoral process.
In addition, the Republic is actively visited by the tourist, journalists, public figures, politicians and businessmen. It shows that the information blockade begins to fall, and those foreign citizens, who have already visited the DPR, spread truthful information about the events in Donbass among European citizens.
3. Information Strategy
One of the key areas of foreign policy of the Donetsk People's Republic is the informational constituent. In the context of military and information aggressions this sphere becomes strategic in the Republic.
The main objectives of the information policy, implemented by the Donetsk People's Republic are to report objective information about the events in the territory of the Republic to the international community, as well as to create a positive image of the Donetsk People's Republic abroad. Ministry of Foreign Affairs establishes the book of the Republic, which is to be translated into several foreign languages and will serve not only as a souvenir, but also will contribute to the breaking of the information blockade.
To achieve these goals a photo exhibition "Donbass. Bitter truth" was held in January and April 2016 in several cities of Spain. Event was organized by Spanish Association of Charity "Good Cause" supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian Embassy in Spain, representatives of the Russian Cooperation in Spain, representatives of the city leadership of Mostoles.
4. Public Diplomacy
On September 1, 2016 the first RepresentativeCenter of the DPR was opened in the EU, in Ostrava (CzechRepublic). This Center actively promotes the establishment of informational, cultural, economical ties between the DPR and the CzechRepublic and also acts as a link for our citizens in the CzechRepublic.
Next month some resonance events will be held to inform the people of the CzechRepublic about the events taking place in Donbass.
On December 14, 2016 the second RepresentativeCenter of the DPR was opened in the EU, in Turin (Italy). This is another step for strengthening positions of the Donetsk People's Republic on the international scene, because the work of the center will be one of the most important elements of interaction of our young Republic and other countries in the framework of public diplomacy. In addition, the DPR RepresentativeCenter will strengthen informational, cultural and economical relations between the DPR and Italy and also will be a bridge between our peoples.
To date another Representative center has been already registered in Finland, which is to be opened in the nearest future. The documents in other states have been already submitted for registration and the same statute of the DPR centers is adopted.
5. Coordination of Foreign Economic Relations
Thanks to the work of Representative Centers, the DPR was visited by a number of potential investors and businessmen of Europe. Interaction Areas were from banking to agro-industry. In accordance with the interests of the foreign representatives the proper meetings were organized with the heads of the relevant Ministries and state enterprises of the Republic.
On December 16, in the building of VeronaUniversity (Italy) a conference was held, during which the further cooperation with the Republic of Donbass was discussed. The event was attended by President of the Association "Lombardia Russia", Chairman of the DPR RepresentativeCenter in Italy, President of the Association "Veneto-Russia". They talked about their impressions of the trip to Donbass and the prospects of investing in industrial production of the Republic. This event - this is another small step on the way of Republic’s recognition by the members of the international community.
Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has almost completed work on an agreement on partnership and cooperation "Veneto-Donbass", which will be signed in the first quarter of 2017 and will serve for the development and strengthening of the relations in the cultural, political, economical and business spheres.
6. International Agreements
Donetsk People's Republic works for the international strengthening and development of friendly relations with the fraternal peoples of the Republic of South Ossetia, Republic of Abkhazia, Nagorno-KarabakhRepublic and PridnestrovianMoldavianRepublic. To date an international agreement on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the Republic of South Ossetia is being developed (the mutual recognition was two years ago). At the moment the agreement is under approval and consideration.
During the reporting year, with the support of the DPR Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Memorandum on cooperation in the field of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications between the DPR Ministry of Communications and the Liaison Committee of Mass Communications of the Republic of South Ossetia and also a special cancellation of stamps was held in honor of the anniversary of recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic by the Republic of South Ossetia.
The cooperation with the Russian Federation subjects in the social, cultural, economical and humanitarian spheres is also being developed.
7. Legal and Regulatory Activity
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with the People's Council Committee on Foreign Policy and International Relations in the development of legislative acts regulating the sphere of international relations of the Donetsk People's Republic. The result of the joint work was the adoption of "Consular Statute of the Donetsk People's Republic."
Joint with the Ministry of State Security, the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR, the Foreign Ministry is involved in the development of the Transitional Provision "On immigration, emigration, residence and extension of the stay of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic." The project of this Provision is being coordinated and soon is to be approved by the Council of Ministers. Also joint with the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of State Security the agreement for accreditation of foreign journalists in the territory of the DPR was developed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People's Republic on the recognition and enforcement of foreign courts decisions in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic and also on the cooperation with the United Nations representatives.
The most important issue during the work with citizen’s appeals was the problem of legalization of documents and the recognition of foreign documents in the Donetsk People's Republic. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing the Regulation on the legalization of documents issued by competent authorities of foreign states for their realization in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic. This document will help to fill the legislative gaps and establish the rules of recognition and use of foreign documents in the Donetsk People's Republic.
In pursuance of article 25 of the Donetsk People's Republic Law "On International Agreements of the Donetsk People's Republic" of 29.06.2015 №66 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed rules of state registration of international agreements of the Donetsk People's Republic.
8. Humanitarian work and International Judicial Institutions
According to the decree of the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic №78 (30 May 2016), a Special Committee was created on recording and collecting the evidence of war crimes of the Ukrainian authorities in Donbass. The main objective of the Special Committee is the identification and documentation of the facts of the crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Ukrainian authorities in the Donetsk People's Republic. In the course of work all the materials are made in the proper form, systematized and form the unified register.
One of the areas of the Special Committee is to develop a strategy for informing a global society about the detailed picture of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other social iniquities of the Ukrainian authorities.
All these facts are to be the strong arguments in the Minsk negotiations in at least two groups - on security and humanitarian issues. It is direct evidence of non-compliance with the truce and undeniable facts of human rights violations by Ukrainian party: detention, torture and beating of our associates and our military officers by SSU and radical groups. Given the fact that war crimes and crimes against humanity are not a subject to amnesty and to statute of limitation, the recording of these crimes will influence the work of the political group in Minsk on the development and coordination of the amnesty law.
During the work of the Special Committee the methods of cooperation with the legal and natural persons have been developed, including the public committee and the republican bodies of executive authority. The form of unified register has been approved, which has greatly facilitated the systematization of all crimes by the Ukrainian authorities against the people of Donbass.
Special Committee has already formed 1084 cases (based on the period from June 2014 to November 2016), including the following areas:
- Civilians (died) - 345;
- Civilians (wounded) - 677;
- Children (dead) - 13;
- Children (wounded) - 43;
- Prisoners and illegally held persons (civil) - 4;
- Prisoners and illegally held persons (military prisoners) - 1;
- Prisoners and illegally held persons (political) - 1.
To date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively works with the residents of the Donetsk People's Republic, foreign citizens and persons without citizenship. Legal advice over the phone and e-mail is provided by us. For 2016 the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to 96 written and 387 oral requests of the Donbass residents, foreign citizens and persons without citizenship. The most of the requests concern immigration, emigration, residence and extension, passport of a citizen of the Donetsk People's Republic and the use of documents issued by the competent authorities of the Donetsk People's Republic in the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make every effort to ensure the state as full-fledged member of the world community. We are open to dialogue with each state, organization or any other subject of international relations, who respect the principles of international law, in particular the right to self-determination of peoples.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to disseminate truthful information about the situation in Donbass among the international society. We plan to involve the international experts, human rights activists, European politicians in objective legal assessment of the actions of the Ukrainian authorities at the international level. In modern conditions - in the conditions of transformation of the political world system, globalization and revitalization of civic associations, the rapid development of information and communication technologies - public and social diplomacy is a key element of the new paradigm of international relations. Only by joint efforts we will be able to create favorable external and internal conditions for the political, social and economical development of our state, as well as for humanization of relations in the world.
As part of the implementation of the main objectives and of a common foreign policy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 2017 a series of events in all the directions is planned - ensuring Minsk negotiation process and the establishment of political prospects of relations with Ukraine by peaceful means, the development and implementation of mechanisms for the recognition of the Donetsk People's Republic as a full-fledged subject of the international relations, coordination of foreign economic relations, the work of multilateral public diplomacy, the implementation of information strategy and foreign policy and, of course, work on legal and regulatory activity of international relations of the DPR.
I thank the deputies, especially the relevant committee for fruitful joint work in 2016. I hope that in the future we will continue our cooperation in the sphere of legislative activity. We still have a lot of work to improve the legislative framework in the field of legal regulation of international relations of the Donetsk People's Republic.