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UN Security Council to analyze Minsk Agreements implementation on February 18

The agreements marked their fifth anniversary on Wednesday

UNITED NATIONS, February 13. /TASS/. The UN Security Council will gather on February 18 on Russia’s initiative to discuss implementation of Minsk agreements, Russia’s first deputy envoy to the UN, Vladimir Polyansky, told TASS.

"In connection with the fifth anniversary of the Minsk agreements, marked today, Russia requested holding an open UN Security Council session with participation of an OSCE envoy to analyze the implementation of the agreements," he said.

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.

On February 17, 2015, those agreements were unanimously approved by a UN Security Council resolution.

These agreements that were initially planned to be implemented by the end of 2015 have not been fulfilled until now. The Ukrainian side has been dodging implementation of the package’s political provisions citing security problems as a reason.

In a bid to overcome the impasse in late 2015, then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier put forward a plan that later became known as the "Steinmeier formula". The plan stipulates that a special status be granted to Donbass in accordance with the Minsk Agreements. In particular, the document envisages that Ukraine’s special law on local self-governance will take effect in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a temporary basis on the day of local elections, becoming permanent after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issues a report on the vote’s results. The idea was endorsed at the Normandy Four meeting in Paris on October 2, 2015, and has been known as the Steinmeier formula since. Ahead of the Normandy Four summit in Paris held in December 2019, Russia insisted that Ukraine assumed the obligation to enshrine the ‘Steinmeier formula’ into law as a compromise mechanism of granting the special status to Donbass.