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Kiev will have to discuss all political aspects of Donbass settlement

March 11, 2017, 1:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015

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MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Ukraine will have to discuss all provisions of the Package of Measures to implement the Minsk agreements, including its political section, acting Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Natalia Nikonorova said on Friday.

"The Package of Measures was endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution. So, Ukraine’s negotiators will have to discuss all political provisions, starting from the Steinmeier formula, which is still a matter of top priority," the Donetsk News Agency quoted her as saying in comment of the statement by Kiev’s representative in the political subgroup Olga Aivazovskaya.

Nikonorova stressed that no amendments had been introduced to the Minsk package and all its provisions were on the agenda until they were fully implemented. She said that Kiev’s allegations that elections and constitutional reforms had been removed from the agenda were another example of Kiev’s strategy geared to protract the negotiating process.

Aivazovskaya said earlier that the issues of elections in Donbass and the constitutional reform in Ukraine had been removed from the agenda of the Minsk talks. Later, she provided explanations and tried to soften the wording, saying that security issues were to be resolved first.

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015. Along with cessation of hostilities between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement, the deal laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and a profound constitutional reform in Ukraine to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. The plan however has not yet been implemented as the Ukrainian side has been dodging implementation of the package’s political provisions citing security problems as the reason.

After talks with German top diplomat Sigmar Gabriel on March 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called to invigorate work on the roadmap of the Donbass settlement. As concerns the political process, he said, Russia is guided by decisions made by the leaders of the Normandy Four nations, namely France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, that envisage simultaneous steps to fulfil both security and political liabilities.

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