Media publish document with proposals from militants for Minsk talks
The Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli has obtained a copy of a draft protocol for the resolution of the situation in the Donbas, which was provided to it on Tuesday night by representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics militant organizations.
The document, entitled "Minutes of the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group with the representatives of individual regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions regarding a set of measures for political settlement of the conflict," has 15 items. The main points are as follows.
- a comprehensive ceasefire starting from 1000 on February 12, 2015 (Kyiv time);
- a withdrawal of heavy weapons (with calibers of 100 mm or more) of Ukrainian troops from the actual contact line, and for the armed forces of individual parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions from the contact line defined by the Minsk memorandum as of September 19, 2014. Withdrawal should begin no later than the second day after introduction of the ceasefire, and the process is to be facilitated by the OSCE military experts;
- the passing of a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada by February 20, 2015 with the list of areas subject to the special status in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On a temporary order of local government in some regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions" (within the contact line defined by the Annex to Minsk memorandum dated September 19, 2014);
- agreement by March 20, 2015 with militant representatives of a draft Law of Ukraine on municipal elections in some areas, and to initiate a dialogue on granting these areas the status of autonomies;
- the cancelation by February 23, 2015 all decisions of the political and military leadership of Ukraine regarding conducting by the Armed Forces and National Guard of anti-terrorist operation in the Donbas;
- the adoption and enforcement by February 25, 2015 of a law of Ukraine that prohibits the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, providing a pardon, amnesty and release of all persons held in the territory of Ukraine (an all-for-all exchange of prisoners). This process must be completed no later than the fifth day after the withdrawal;
- the restoration of the social sphere of individual parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (payment of pensions and benefits) and the securing of safe access to, and the supply, storage and distribution of, humanitarian aid. To restore full economic and social cooperation between the parties, including in the banking sector;
- the withdrawal of foreign military forces, military equipment, as well as military personnel and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine, under the monitoring of the OSCE. The disarming of all illegal groups;
- constitutional reform in Ukraine, including deep decentralization by granting the status of autonomy to individual areas of the Donbass;
- the organizing, under monitoring by international representatives, of free and fair elections of all local authorities on the basis of a law mutually agreed with the representatives of individual districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the municipal elections in some areas and a law of Ukraine on the special status of the Donbas;
The 14th paragraph refers to the deployment of the OSCE mission in the border areas that currently are not under the control of Ukraine. The document states this condition can be fulfilled after the entry into force of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine and consultations with the representatives of individual districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
As previously reported, with reference to the sources, the proposals of the militant organizations are based on Kremlin requirements that were repeatedly voiced earlier. The Ukrainian side is insisting on using as a basis a document worked out with the participation of Germany and France.
However, the sources claim, during the today’s negotiations between the “Normandy Four" leaders in Minsk, the Russian side will adhere to the content of the proposals included in the draft protocol mentioned above.
The Russian news agency TASS reported that a ceasefire in the Donbas, the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the supervision of the implementation of the agreements were agreed upon on Tuesday during talks in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.
However, ZN.UA says, referring to the source in the contact group, that the information published by TASS agency was incorrect - no concrete agreements were reached in talks on Tuesday, and the negotiations continued on Wednesday.