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Pushilin: delay in execution of Minsk agreements caused by actions of Ukrainian president

September 12, 2015, 10:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Friday, Poroshenko ruled out the possibility of extending the Minsk agreements for 2016

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Denis Pushilin

Denis Pushilin

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. The action, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has been undertaking, cause delays in execution of the Minsk agreements, head of the delegation from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to the Contact Group on settlement of the Ukrainian crisis Denis Pushilin told the Donetsk News Agency on Saturday.

"Pyotr Poroshenko does not have any plan of executing the Minsk agreements, he acts in a confused, inconsistent way," he said. "Yesterday he disavowed words of his representative [Ukraine’s former President] Leonid Kuchma that Minsk-2 execution terms may be extended."

He continued saying since the amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution had not been discussed with the self-proclaimed republics, they will have to be agreed to be presented once again to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament).

"They will have to agree them with us, as it is a requirement of item 11 of the Complex of Measures," he said. "At the same time, a new voting procedure will take at least four months according to the Ukrainian legislation."

Thus, he said, the terms of the Minsk agreements are to be extended inevitably to early 2016.

"This is a most optimistic forecast, and clearly the responsibility for the delay is purely with Poroshenko. He chose not to agree and still to present to Rada the unacceptable draft of the constitutional reform, and thus now we have to begin everything afresh thus slowing down the settlement process."

On Friday, Poroshenko ruled out the possibility of extending the Minsk agreements for 2016. "I asked Leonid Kuchma, my representative at the Contact Group, to cancel the statement that the Minsk process can be continued in 2016. No, everyone should fulfil the commitment within 2015," the Ukrainian president said.

According to the Minsk accords, all points of the agreement, especially the constitutional reform with consideration of separate areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, should be implemented by end of 2015.

On Thursday, Kuchma said that the Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbass announced it is necessary to extend the Minsk agreements for 2016 if they are not implemented fully by end of 2015.

President Petro Poroshenko said he did not rule our holding a meeting in the "Normandy format" on settling the situation in Donbass in the framework of the UN General Assembly session in New York in late September.

"On September 12, the first meeting of the foreign ministers will take place - it will focus on agenda and draft documents to be discussed [in Paris]," Poroshenko told journalists on the sidelines of Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kiev.

"I do not rule out that one more meeting in this or another format may take place in the framework of UN General Assembly at the end of September in New York," the Ukrainian president said.

Minsk accords on settlement of crisis in Ukraine

A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release.

The package of measures envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and for Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defence forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR) have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the violence in Ukraine has killed 6,500 people in the past year, wounded 16,000 and left 5 million people in need of humanitarian aid. With more than 1.3 million registered IDPs, Ukraine has now the ninth largest number of internally displaced in the world, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

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