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Kiev seeks to dodge key phase of settlement in Donbass - Russian OSCE envoy

November 25, 2016, 0:33 UTC+3 VIENNA

According to the Russian diplomat, the Wednesday’s meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk was another proof to his words.

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VIENNA, November 24. /TASS/. Kiev is reluctant to enforce the law on Donbass’ special status and conduct a constitutional reform as a key stage of the settlement of the crisis in Donbass, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

"Neither the Kiev authorities nor commanders of Ukrainian forces in the buffer zone who control flows across the line of contact, neither Ukrainian soldiers who are paid extra money as ‘participants in combat operation’ should shootouts occur at their sections are interested in stopping clashes," he said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council. "The Kiev authorities are seeking to dodge a key phase of the crisis settlement, i.e. agreeing the modality of local elections, enforcement of the law on Donbass’ special status, carrying out amnesty, and conducting a constitutional reform, at any cost."

According to the Russian diplomat, the Wednesday’s meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk was another proof to his words. "Kiev refuses even to confirm on paper [German Foreign Minister] Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s formula linking local elections and special status to Donbass," he noted. "Kiev is seeking to dodge agreement of the Contact Group’s regulations. It cannot announce its position on the key issues in the written form. And notably, the Ukrainian side is abandoning its oral statements quite easily."

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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