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Russia’s envoy slams Kiev’s attempts to rewrite Minsk accords as inadmissible

The Russian envoy stated that over the recent four years, Ukraine had been violating its commitments, seeking to derail the Minsk process

MINSK, February 13. /TASS/. The attempts by Kiev along with some Western politicians to rewrite the Minsk agreements are absolutely inadmissible, Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Contact Group seeking peace for southeast Ukraine, said on Wednesday.

"Four years have gone by since the ‘Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements’ mediated by the OSCE and Russia was signed by representatives from Ukraine and from some areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," Gryzlov said after a Contact Group regular meeting in the Belarussian capital.

"The agreements were backed by the Normandy Four leaders and in the resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council, which is the highest-level international document," he added.

Gryzlov pointed out that the Tuesday discussion at the UN Security Council proved that the intra-Ukrainian crisis might be resolved only on the basis of the Minsk accords.

"The attempts to rewrite and, in fact, intentionally replace these agreements, which the Ukrainian authorities and some Ukrainian politicians are trying to do, are absolutely inadmissible. The crisis could be resolved only through a direct political dialogue between Kiev and Donbass," he stressed.

Nevertheless, the Russian envoy stated that over the recent four years, Ukraine had been grossly violating its commitments, seeking to derail the Minsk process.

"Ukraine’s Armed Forces have disrupted the disengagement of forces in all negotiated areas. They are constantly violating the ceasefire. They continue shelling the civil facilities and residential areas," he continued. "Throughout the past period, civilians, the civilian population, have been dying as a result of shelling by Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Kiev does not comply with its commitments taken in the year before last."

"The Kiev authorities are not engaged in a political dialogue with Donbass, but have been rubberstamping bills in disregard for the Minsk agreements. They have imposed a blockade on the region. Instead of settling the crisis, Kiev’s steps have largely worsened the situation," Gryzlov concluded.


Minsk accords

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including prisoner exchange in the all-for-all format, local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

Until now, the plan has not been implemented. Kiev has refused to comply with the political part of the agreements, citing unsolved security issues.