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Commentary by Natalia Nikonorova on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Package of Measures signing

Summing up the five years since the signing of the Package of Measures, we cannot give a positive assessment on the implementation of this document, unfortunately. Ukraine, in times of President Poroshenko and the current government, has chosen the tactics of delaying as much as possible, and sometimes even openly sabotaging its obligations under the Minsk agreements.

A striking example is that over the 5 years of the 13 items of the Package of Measures, in fact, only the 13th can be considered completed, which refers to the creation of specialized working groups to intensify the activities of the Contact Group. But we don’t see even any intensification: all our proposals for the implementation of the Minsk agreements are either completely ignored by Kiev, or distorted, replacing the meaning of the documents signed in Minsk.

It should be understood that, in general, over the past five years, certain progress has been achieved in each of the negotiations areas. Two major exchanges of held persons were held - in 2017 and 2019. As part of the group on economical issues work, it was agreed with the Ukrainian party and the implementation of the schedule for conducting an international audit of CE “Water Donbass Company” was started.

In addition, last year in Minsk it was possible to reach an agreement on an unlimited truce. However, this event, although it allowed to reduce the number of shellings, but still did not stop them completely. The situation is the same with the coordination of additional measures to control the ceasefire - this is a clearly constructive shift, but Kiev does not properly implement these agreements.

But the most worrisome is the Ukrainian side’s unpreparedness for a constructive dialogue on political issues, the long-term resolution of the conflict depends on the successful solution of which. Five years after the signing of the Package of Measures, not a lot has changed in this direction. The only real breakthrough can be considered that at the end of last year, Steinmeier’s formula was finally agreed and recorded in writing. Moreover, more than 4 months have already passed from this moment, but we still have not seen a single constructive action on the part of Ukraine towards the implementation of this mechanism in the legislation and further political settlement.

The Ukrainian  party has not yet shown any intention to work on all legal aspects of the special status of Donbass, as was prescribed by the leaders of the Normandy format. We have not yet seen a single proposal from Ukrainian representatives on the draft amendments to the law on special status, including the implementation of the provisions of the Steinmeier’s formula, draft laws, by-laws and agreements arising from this key act. And the most important thing - proposals and readiness to coordinate with the representatives of the Republics the consolidation of the special status of Donbass in the Constitution has not yet been observed. The Kiev authorities continue to evade all these steps, despite assurances of a responsible attitude to their obligations.

Such an unfair approach generally characterizes the behavior of the Ukrainian representatives: even when Kiev agrees to certain joint decisions within the framework of the Contact Group, these agreements are subsequently either not fully implemented, or are implemented incorrectly, or are not implemented at all.

Once again, we remind the leadership of Ukraine that the Package of Measures is uncontested and, given its international legal status, is required to be implemented in accordance with precisely this order and the meaning of the points that were approved by the guarantor states and enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution. Therefore, in the future, Kiev has only two options for the scenario: either precisely and strictly to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements, or to bear full and unconditional responsibility for disrupting a peaceful settlement with all the ensuing consequences.