Yesterday, the official website of the Ukraine’s President published information that the representatives of Ukraine at talks in Minsk will work on additional measures to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire.
In this regard, I would like to recall that for the first time the list of additional measures was proposed by the OSCE SMM in August 2017, further supplemented on the basis of proposals from Republics’ representatives, and included the need to publish ceasefire orders, to conduct proceedings and apply disciplinary measures to violators. Republics regularly complied with all necessary requirements, while the Ukrainian side continued to shell our territories with impunity, including the use of heavy weapons.
So, since July 21, since the entry into force of an unlimited ceasefire, prescribed by package of additional measures to strengthen and control the ceasefire, the AFU 2118 times fired the DPR territory, as a result of which 23 civilians were wounded, 344 houses and 37 infrastructure objects were destroyed and damaged. We did not see the proceedings of the Ukrainian side on any of these facts; perpetrators were not punished for any violation.
A statement on an indefinite truce, which was agreed in July 2019, included steps for ensuring a ceasefire on the basis of additional measures and clearly prescribed that the armed forces of Ukraine should simply follow points of the agreed additional measures, but it does not happen, we do not see real steps towards the peace.
For more than two years, Republics’ representatives insisted on initialing the official document on additional measures, including at the last meeting in December 2019. At the upcoming meeting, we again intend to raise the issue of providing the package of additional measures with legal status by signing it by the parties, and we hope that this will finally happen. We have repeatedly been convinced that even the signed documents do not give 100% guarantees that the Ukrainian party will fulfill its obligations. We believe that the legal status of an initialed document will make real the use of sanctions mechanisms in case of violation of additional measures and the commission of war crimes, as a result of which civilians suffer.
We also believe that the most productive thing for Mr. Zelensky instead of proposing existing and agreed mechanisms would be the focusing on finding opportunities for a phased disengagement of forces and hardware along the entire line of contact, about impossibility of which he declared after the meeting of the Normandy Four countries’ leaders. Phased disengagement can indeed be a significant step to reach the peace in Donbass.