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Russia calls on Kiev to establish direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk — diplomat

August 18, 2015, 21:58 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

On Monday, August 17, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern over the recent aggravation of tensions in eastern Ukraine

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© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

UNITED NATIONS, August 18 /TASS/. Kiev should establish a direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk for sustainable de-escalation of tensions. It is also necessary to achieve progress in implementing the Minsk political agreements, Pyotr Ilyichev, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations told a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

The diplomat said that active and fruitful dialogue was needed within the Contact Group for Ukraine settlement and its working groups with an aim to implement the February 12 package of measures to implement the Minsk agreements, which have been muddling through of late," Ilyichev said.

"It is obvious that without progress in implementing the Minsk political agreements and the establishment of Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk, it is going to be impossible to move towards the final settlement and achieve stable de-escalation," Ilyichev told the UN Security Council meeting devoted to the United Nations interaction with regional organizations.

On the whole, Ilyichev assessed positively the efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to contribute to the Ukraine settlement. He also praised the work of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine that controls the situation on the ground.

On Monday, August 17, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern over the recent aggravation of tensions in eastern Ukraine and urged all the sides to take urgent steps to de-escalate the conflict. He also said it was impossible to violate the ceasefire regime and called on all the sides in conflict to continue dialogue and strictly follow the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements.

The "silence regime" officially came into force in Donbas on February 15 this year. A demand to cease the fire is one of the requirement laid down in the Minsk-2 package of measures designed to implement the Minsk agreements. However, the situation has aggravated recently. Shelling has intensified and victims among civilians have reappeared again. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have said many times that the truce observance depends entirely on the Ukraine side.

The Contact Group for the Ukraine settlement signed a package of measures (to implement the Minsk agreements) in Minsk on February 12. Prior to that, the package, also known as Minsk-2, had been approved by the "Normandy four" leaders (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).

The document provides for the creation of a security zone of no less than 50 kilometers. The parties in conflict pledged to pull out their artillery guns with a caliber of more than 100 mm to an equal distance from the disengagement line to create that security zone.

The people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic unilaterally completed the withdrawal of all weapons with a caliber under 100mm from the contact line to a distance of no less than 3 kilometres with the exception for the town of Schastye.

There fears that the current aggravation of the Ukraine crisis may disrupt the Minsk peace agreements on the ceasefire regime in Donbas. The recent increase in Ukraine’s military activities may be explained by attempts of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to take a revenge, with the US support, for the past military failures in combat operations against the LPR and DPR. However, such actions may disrupt the peace agreements and lead to the resumption of war in southeastern Ukraine.

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