DONETSK, September 5. /TASS/. Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) officials continue to insist on Ukraine’s adherence to the Minsk Agreements, namely regarding the special status of Donbass, DPR foreign minister and envoy to the Contact Group Natalya Nikonorova said on Thursday, commenting on the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Minsk Agreements.
"We continue to insist on the need to implement all political points, namely to incorporate the special status of Donbass in the Ukrainian constitution," the Donetsk News Agency quotes Nikonorova as saying.
According to Nikonorova, the special status of Donbass is the foundation for further conflict resolution. The republic’s foreign ministry also noted that Kiev is deliberately blocking the discussion of the political points of the Minsk Agreements, thus hindering the establishment of lasting peace in southeastern Ukraine.
Mass protests broke out in eastern Ukraine, mostly populated by Russian speakers, following a coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and President Viktor Yanukovich’s ouster. In mid-April of the same year, Kiev’s authorities launched a military operation in Donbass in response. Heavy shelling of residential areas, including with the use of aviation, caused a massive humanitarian disaster in the region. In mid-May, the Donbass republics proclaimed their independence after holding national referendums.
Simultaneously, Kiev introduced a full blockade of the region, severing all economic ties. The Ukrainian authorities stopped paying social benefits to the citizens of the territories not under their control.
On September 5, 2014, members of the Contact Group and heads of DPR and LPR have signed the Minsk Protocol (Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group) which established joint steps aimed at implementing the peace plan of then-President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko and the initiatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.