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VIENNA, September 07, /ITAR-TASS/. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) that is member of the Contact Group for Ukraine, on Sunday published the full text of the protocol of joint steps for the Ukrainian crisis settlement.
The document confirms that during negotiations, held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5, with the participation of representatives of Kiev, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), OSCE and Russia, the sides reached understanding on the need for 12 steps.
The immediate bilateral ceasefire is the first required step. The OSCE is responsible for the monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime observance by the conflict sides. In addition, OSCE officials are to ensure the permanent monitoring and verification on the Ukrainian-Russian state border with creation of the security zone in border areas of Russia and Ukraine.
According to the protocol, the sides realize the need of immediate release of all hostages and illegally held persons, and Kiev undertakes to adopt the law “on the prevention of persecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine,” and “continue the inclusive nationwide dialogue.” The document also contains the clause on the withdrawal of “illegal armed groups, military equipment and militants and mercenaries from Ukraine.”A separate clause specifies Kiev authorities’ obligation to decentralise power, including by the adoption of the Ukrainian law “on temporary order of local self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”
Under this law on the special status, Kiev undertakes to ensure early local elections. It is noteworthy that right after the Minsk talks, the leaders of the self-proclaimed people’s republics made a reservation that the peace plan co-ordination and ceasefire give no reason for changing the course of independence from Kiev.
In addition, the sides reached understanding on the necessity of the “measures for the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Donbas,” as well as “the programme of Donbas’ economic revival and restoration of the region’s vital activity.”
The final clause of the Contact Group meeting protocol gives all the consultations participants personal security guarantees.
The negotiations, held in Minsk on September 5, were attended by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Aleksandr Zakharchenko, head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky, Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, and Heidi Tagliavini, representing the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.