Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Donetsk People's Republic

COMMENT BY NATALIA NIKONOROVA CONCERNING A VIDEOCONFERENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE “NORMANDY FOUR” COUNTRIES

30 April 2020
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The fact of a videoconference of the foreign ministers of the Normandy Four countries, even in conditions of extremely busy schedules associated with confronting the coronavirus infection, testifies to the understanding by these states of the great importance of resolving the Donbass conflict and their readiness to make every possible effort for it.
It should be noted that, as far as one can judge from the final communication of the participants with the media, this meeting was held in approximately the same direction as the meetings of the Contact Group: representatives of Ukraine in Minsk and in the Normandy format are doing everything to refuse their obligations and rethink the essence of the Package of Measures. However, such a position of Ukraine cannot be a priori successful, since all other guarantor countries of the Minsk Agreements are well aware of what their meaning is and urge the Ukrainian side not to delay the negotiation process and not waste precious time, but to finally begin to implement in detail all the achievements arrangements.
In particular, we welcome that the meeting reaffirmed the importance of fulfilling all paragraphs of the communiqué following the meeting the Normandy Four countries leaders. At the same time, it was indicated that so far only one of the nine items has been completed - on the exchange of held persons, and even only partially. In this regard, we support the call for the conscientious fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of all other obligations. In particular, this should concern political obligations. It was recorded that the main points on the political agenda remain the Donbass special status and its consolidation in the c1onstitution. It is also encouraging that Ukraine was called upon to adhere to its obligations, including by agreeing on additional measures to control the ceasefire, during the discussion of which representatives of Kiev regularly try to divert the discussion into an unconstructive direction.
In addition, we consider it a positive signal that the meeting participants emphasized the importance of implementing the socio-economic points of the Package of Measures.
At the same time, the Ukrainian side, even at a meeting of such a high level, did not hesitate to repeat its favorite story about the fact that Kiev cannot speak with Donbass, since it was allegedly represented by members of "illegal groups". Here I would like to remind Ukrainian officials that the signatures of representatives of Ukraine and representatives of Republics are side by side on several documents of the Minsk package, including those that were approved by the UN Security Council. Not to mention the fact that we have been directly meeting and talking for more than 5 years within the Minsk platform, which means that it is high time for Kiev to come to terms with the fact that all guarantor countries, including Ukraine, have in fact recognized our subjectivity and full right to participate in negotiations regarding the future of Donbass.
We strongly recommend the Ukrainian side to finally begin a substantive, clear and open dialogue with us at the meetings of the Contact Group, at least in order to present at the next meeting in the "Normandy Format" present real and productive results of joint work, rather than dubious excuses for not fulfilling their obligations under Minsk agreements.