During the meeting of the Contact Group on political issues, the Ukrainian side again used the tactic of dragging out the negotiations by suggesting strange, unreasonable initiatives.
“Today we heard the announcement of the Ukrainian delegation head that he had made a decision to appoint a certain adviser for “consultations with Donbass representatives”. At the same time, Mr. Kravchuk was unable to answer any of our logical questions after such an announcement: what will be the powers of this advisor, what functions will he have, for what tasks it is proposed to carry out our interaction with this advisor?
The head of the Ukrainian delegation tried to explain his idea by the fact that the Package of Measures contains the words “consultations with representatives of CADLR”. However, we reminded him that in this document the word “consultations” is invariably accompanied by the word “coordination”. Moreover, within the framework of the Contact Group. Thus, if Ukraine introduces an adviser on “consultations”, then he should also have the authority to sign the agreements reached at the negotiations, and not with some unknown persons elected by Kiev, but with real representatives of Donbass" - Natalia Nikonorova said.
OSCE coordinator Ms. Grau noted the importance of getting answers to our questions and asked the Ukrainian party to provide written information regarding the announced initiative, preferably no later than April 8, so that all members of the Contact Group had time to thoroughly learn the information sent.
In this connection, Natalia Nikonorova drew special attention of the OSCE coordinators to the potential danger of the Kiev’s idea:
“I call on the mediators of negotiations to pay close attention to Ukraine’s manipulations: its representatives make deliberately every effort to nullify the existing format and meaning of the Contact Group by squeezing the Republics out of the negotiations. Recently, we have seen a whole campaign aimed at this: firstly, the Ukrainian parliament adopts resolutions that directly violate the Minsk agreements, and secondly, some advisers are proposed for appointment, who, apparently, will perform the function of another instrument that drags out negotiations. And, thirdly, the draft documents sent by us, in particular the Roadmap, are invariably ignored by the Ukrainian side. Thus, all the initiatives of Kiev and the behavior of the Ukrainian negotiators at the Minsk platform are aimed exclusively at aggravating the existing stagnation in the Contact Group work, which is presented under the guise of fulfilling the Minsk agreements.
We hope that Mr. Kravchuk will fulfill the request of Mrs. Grau and provide details of his idea on the introduction of an adviser on “consultations” with us. Moreover, we would like to believe that these clarifications will not be a long time coming, as it is happening with comments on our draft Roadmap. Although this particular project, if agreed by the parties and approved at the level of the Verkhovna Rada and the President of Ukraine, could bring the political settlement, therefore.”