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Kiev negotiator gives distorted view of Steinmeier reconciliation formula — LPR

"Bessmertny came up with a series of statements that have no relation to reality or his field of competence," an LPR negotiator said
LPR envoy to the political subgroup of the Contact Group, Rodion Miroshnik Andrei Makhonin/TASS
LPR envoy to the political subgroup of the Contact Group, Rodion Miroshnik
© Andrei Makhonin/TASS

LUGANSK, July 19. /TASS/. Kiev’s envoy to the political subgroup of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation, Roman Bessmertny, gives a distorted view of the Steinmeier formula, a Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) negotiator, Rodion Miroshnik, has told TASS.

"Upon his return to Kiev, Bessmertny came up with a series of statements that have no relation to reality or his field of competence," he said.

"He came up with a fairly creative explanation of his inaction in the Contact Group, saying that political settlement should wait until significant progress is reached in security, economy and the humanitarian sphere. Then why did Bessmertny himself travel to Minsk to represent his country in the political subgroup? To wait and see?" the LPR negotiator continued.

"During the group’s meeting, Bessmertny claimed that the text of the Steinmeier formula, released by the OSCE Secreatariat, does not reveal the true meaning implied by Steinmeier," Miroshnik went on. "At the same time, I should stress that it was Bessmertny who said that, not Steinmeier himself."

"His statement about Russian representatives allegedly disrupting the prisoner swap is absolutely baseless. Simply compiling swap lists and confirming them is not enough, the Ukrainian side should also carry out the ‘judicial cleanup’ of the swapped individuals," the diplomat said, adding that in line with the Minsk agreements, criminal cases must be closed or an amnesty/pardon declared for individuals who are suggested for a prisoner exchange.

"The Ukrainian side did not do this, and, therefore, it was not ready for a full-fledged swap," he added. "That’s why it was agreed that the date of the swap will be set once this is done."

"In order to achieve constructive agreements within the Minsk process, the Kiev representatives should learn how to use adequate rhetoric aimed at reconciliation," the LPR negotiator said.

The ‘Steinmeier formula’ was signed in late 2015 and is aimed at settling the Donbass conflict. It envisages the implementation of Ukrainian legislation on a special local self-government in some areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a temporary basis during the local election in Donbass, and on a permanent basis after the publication of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s report on its results.

Minsk agreements

Peace settlement of the conflict in Donbass rests on the Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, that was signed by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, after marathon 16-hour talks between the leaders of the Normandy Four nations, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The 13-point document envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also lays out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and a constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

Later, the UN Security Council was approved by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2202. The Council urged all sides to ensure full implementation of the deal.

However this plan has not yet been implemented. Ukraine’s former authorities headed by ex-President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed blockade of Donbass and refused to implement political provisions of the Minsk package insisting on deploying a United Nations peacekeeping mission.