The Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) has outlined a list of next steps to resolve the situation in Donbas.
"The implementation of the agreements of the Normandy Four leaders, as well as the entire package of the Minsk agreements, remains for Ukraine the basis for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict and the restoration of peace in Donbas," the delegation wrote on Facebook on the anniversary of the Normandy Four summit held in Paris on December 9, 2019.
During this year, the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG made active efforts to fulfill the tasks set by the president of Ukraine on the way to advance through the stages of a peaceful settlement.
"Thanks to the activation of the Trilateral Contact Group as an important consultative mechanism for the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the adoption in July 2020 of additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire, the security situation in the conflict zone has stabilized, which, despite the continuation of provocations by the Russian Federation's armed formations, resulted in a significant reduction in the number of human casualties and destruction of critical infrastructure," the report says.
Read alsoKravchuk tells of prisoner swap prospects in DonbasThe Ukrainian delegation to the TCG reiterated prisoner swaps took place in December 2019 and April 2020, thanks to which it was possible to return many Ukrainians from captivity.
In addition, the Ukrainian side made important initiatives for further disengagement of forces and weapons and the continuation of the mine clearance process, took other practical steps to ensure sustainable security of the environment and improve the overall humanitarian situation in the conflict zone.
The Ukrainian delegation to the TCG sees the next steps as such:
- Further release of detainees;
- Ensuring full and unconditional admission of international organizations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross, to all detained persons;
- Opening and proper functioning of checkpoints across the contact line;
- Compliance with security conditions (mine clearance, disengagement of troops); and
- Continuation of the discussion of Ukraine's working proposals on the implementation of the political aspects of the General agreed conclusions of the Paris summit of December 9, 2019.
Normandy Four summit: Background
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Paris on December 9, 2019, to discuss ways to end the war in Donbas.
- They reaffirmed their commitment to the full and comprehensive ceasefire regime by the end of 2019 and supported the arrangement within the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on the disengagement of troops and weapons at three new sites in eastern Ukraine by the end of March 2020.
- The leaders encouraged the TCG to promote the release and exchange of held persons by the end of the year on an "all for all" basis, starting with "all identified for all identified persons."
- The parties expressed their interest in reaching agreements within the Normandy format and the TCG on all legal aspects of the law on the special order of local self-government (on the special status) of certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions – as specified in the Comprehensive Package of Measures for the Implementation of Minsk agreements of 2015 – to ensure its continued application.