STRASBOURG, January 31. /TASS/. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Vice President, Head of the Russian delegation to PACE, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma (parliament’s lower house) Pyotr Tolstoy has blasted a PACE resolution adopted on Thursday that contains numerous complaints about Russia and describes Moscow as a party to the Minsk Agreements, slamming it as nonsense.
"We do not agree with this resolution. It is nonsense," he told TASS. "The fact that they introduce this nonsense in PACE documents does not enhance the organization’s authority," he added.
The resolution passed on Thursday is based on conclusions of PACE’s monitoring groups observing certain countries’ compliance with obligations to the Council of Europe in 2019. During debates, an amendment was introduced to the resolution’s text particularly at the initiative of Ukrainian parliamentarians that describes Russia as a party to the Minsk Agreements. Member of the Russian delegation Nikolai Ryzhak told the debate that this notion contradicts the position of the UN Security Council.
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 was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics of 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.
The document was approved in the joint declaration signed by the Russian, Ukrainian and French presidents and the German chancellor. The four leaders vowed to use their influence with the relevant parties to facilitate the implementation of this Package of Measures. Later on, the Package of Measures was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, with the Security Council calling on all parties to ensure its full implementation. However, Kiev refuses to comply with the political provisions of the deal, citing unresolved security issues.