UNITED NATIONS, February 17. /TASS/. Ukraine stubbornly refuses to hold a direct dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, contrary to the Minsk agreements’ provisions, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said at a session of the UN Security Council on Thursday.
"Kiev’s systematic reluctance to enter into a direct dialogue with the representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Contact Group is the root cause of the problem. In the meantime, such a dialogue is envisaged in accordance with paragraphs 4, 9, 11 and 12 of this document (Minsk-2 package - TASS)," he said.
Vershinin added that over the past seven years Ukraine has failed to implement at least one provision of the package of measures to enforce the Minsk Agreements.
"Seven years after it is clear that not a single provision in the package of measures has been implemented by Ukraine to the full extent, starting from item one - ceasefire," he said.
The plan for a peace settlement in Donbass relies on the Minsk agreements, achieved in February 2015. Among other things they envisage ceasefire, pullback of weapons, amnesty, resumption of economic relations and a flexible constitutional reform in Ukraine. The authorities in Kiev have repeatedly professed their readiness to act on these agreements, but in fact have ignored them for many years. In particular, Kiev refuses to have a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and objects to granting Donbass a special status. Also, it procrastinates on the negotiations in the Contact Group.