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Scholz says Zelensky promised to submit bills on Donbass to Contact Group

The German Chancellor said he called on the Ukrainian president to endow "his negotiators in the Contact Group with a corresponding constructive mandate to reach progress there"

BERLIN, February 15. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has promised to submit to the Trilateral Contact Group the three political bills envisaged by the Minsk agreements, namely on Donbass’ status, on amendments to the Ukrainian constitution, and on elections in the region, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a news conference on Tuesday after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

On Monday, Scholz visited Kiev.

"It is good that President Zelensky firmly said yesterday that all the three necessary bills - on the status of eastern Ukraine, on constitutional amendments, and on the organization of elections - will soon be presented to the Trilateral Contact Group, within which the Minsk process is proceeding and which brings together all parties. It is a good progress," he said.

He also said he called on the Ukrainian president to endow "his negotiators (in the Contact Group - TASS) with a corresponding constructive mandate to reach progress there."

A 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 the people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk and the subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact. The deal also lays out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including an amnesty, prisoner swaps, the resumption of economic ties, local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

The peace plan remains unimplemented to this day, largely due to Ukraine’s stance. Kiev keeps on refusing to act on the political items of the agreement and to discuss these bills with the Donbass republics in the Contact Group, as envisaged by the Minsk agreements.