BELGRADE, February 21. /TASS/. It has become evident by now that Kiev is unwilling to fulfil the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
"The law on Donbass reintegration implies a military solution in eastern Ukraine," the minister said. "It is obvious that the Kiev authorities are not going to implement the Minsk accords."
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed into law the bill "On the special aspects of state policy aimed at ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions" (on Donbass reintegration).
The law enters into force on the day of its publication.
The law, initiated by President Poroshenko, refers to the specified eastern regions as "temporarily occupied territories" and defines Russia’s actions as "aggression against Ukraine." The bill provides for setting up the joint operation headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces to control all military units and military-civil administrations in the conflict zone and gives the president the right to use the armed forces inside the country without the parliament’s consent.
It also provides for setting up joint operation headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces to control all military units and military-civil administrations in the conflict zone. In addition, all references to the Minsk agreements were removed from the document.
Peace settlement of the conflict in Donbass rests on the Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, that was signed by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, after marathon 16-hour talks between the leaders of the Normandy Four nations, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The 13-point document envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also lays out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and a constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.
These agreements that were initially planned to be implemented by the end of 2015 have not been fulfilled until now. The Ukrainian side has been dodging implementation of the package’s political provisions citing security problems as a reason. Ukraine has failed to carry out a constitutional reform, to enforce a law on the region’s special status and to pass a law on elections in Donbass. Instead, it insists on regaining control over the border with Russia, which is to take place only after the elections, as is envisaged by the Minsk agreements. Moreover, the Ukrainian side is continuing economic blockade of Donbass. In the recent months, Kiev has been pushing the idea of deployment a United Nations armed mission in Donbass, obviously, in a bid to find a pretext to waive its liabilities under the Minsk agreements.