The seven years that have passed since the Package of Measures signing. It is a rather impressive period of time during which it was possible, if not to achieve a complete settlement of Donbass conflict, but at least to make significant progress in negotiations. Nevertheless due to the complete absence of even the slightest desire for real progress among the leadership of Ukraine, there is no need to talk about any achievements at the Minsk site.
The year 2021 turned out to be especially stagnant, when even the point agreements reached earlier were completely disavowed by the Ukrainian party. First of all, we are talking about the Measures to strengthen the ceasefire regime of 22.07.2022. These Measures, formalized and agreed with such colossal labor, were thwarted by Kiev literally a month and a half after they were signed by parties. And the most cynical thing is that over the past year we sent our proposals with practical steps to implement the Measures to the Contact group members 4 times. But Kiev systematically and groundlessly rejects all our attempts to come to a constructive one. Instead, in 2021 we saw a range of statements from representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Verkhovna Rada, Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Security and Defense Council - and in fact, not a single clear and serious confirmation of the readiness to do at least something to maintain the ceasefire. All this is taking place against the backdrop of a growing escalation by the AFU, shelling, as a result of which our residents become victims, monstrous provocations, including those aimed at children, an unprecedented scale of weapons, equipment, military contingent imported to Ukraine, etc.
Obvious degradation is also on the political track. Ukrainian authorities prefer to spend time on any kind of activity, as long as it meets two criteria: it contradicts the Minsk agreements and has not been agreed with Donbass representatives. Only in this way can we explain the abundance of initiatives, laws and bills developed in Ukraine - both on the “transition period”, and on the foundations of national resistance, on “decentralization”, but at the same time they still did not bother to draw up and send even such elementary thing, as a response to our draft Roadmap. And after all, a year and a half has passed since we sent this document - a very eloquent illustration for those who are interested in why, after 7 years of the Minsk process is “in dead-end”.
The humanitarian area of negotiations also remains blocked due to Kiev's outright sabotage. For almost two years the Ukrainian authorities have not been able to release 50 people from criminal prosecution, although the need for such a procedure is enshrined in official protocols signed by both conflict parties. As a result, through the fault of Ukraine, a glaring situation has developed: previously released citizens are infringed on their rights and freedoms, and at the same time there is no way to conduct new exchanges.
At the same time, the most important and fundamental obstacle to progress on the Minsk track is Kiev's attempts to refuse direct dialogue with Donbass by all possible means. Although it is precisely such a dialogue that is the only possible tool for contradictions resolving that have arisen between Ukraine and Donbass. Until the Ukrainian leadership comes to terms with this fact, there will be no results in the peace negotiations.
And Kiev will have to come with it, because, firstly, such an obligation is prescribed in the Package of measures approved by the UN Security Council, and, secondly, because the issue of the need for direct interaction with us is increasingly beginning to be raised at meetings of political advisers to the heads of the countries-guarantors of the Minsk agreements, within the framework of the meetings of the UN Security Council, in the stories and reports of the global media and on other international platforms. We do not recommend the Ukrainian authorities to ignore such weighty circumstances.