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Kiev shows total disregard to diplomatic standards during talks in Minsk — LPR

The Contact Group on the crisis in Ukraine and its working subgroups will convene in the Belarusian capital on May 24

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. The Ukrainian envoys to reconciliation meetings in Minsk demonstrate total disregard to international standards of negotiations, an envoy of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) said ahead of the talks due on Wednesday.

The Contact Group on the crisis in Ukraine and its working subgroups will convene in the Belarusian capital on May 24. Ahead of the meeting, Kiev’s representative at the political subgroup, Alexander Motsik, accused Russia and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics of dragging out the negotiations.

"Right now, Kiev’s appears to demonstrate a total disregard for international standards of negotiations in an attempt to evade peaceful settlement by all means," LPR envoy Rodion Miroshnik said. "In this regard, attempts to accuse others of hampering the negotiations look like mere rhetoric."

"In the past six months, they (Ukraine’s delegates to the political subgroup) have demonstratively refused to consider the mechanism for vesting Donbass with the special status, amd showed total reluctance to discussing any of the issues on the political agenda," the Lugansk diplomat said.

He added that despite requests from OSCE officials, Kiev refused to provide any written declaration of its stance on the main issues of the talks.

The negotiator also criticized the Kiev government’s proposal on creating a separate working group to discuss the issue of control over the stretch of the Russian-Ukrainian border, currently held by the self-proclaimed republics.

"There is neither sense nor need to create a separate group on handing over the border control. This function can easily be performed by the subgroup on security once it deals with the security issues mentioned in the first three provisions of the Complex of Measures to implement the Minsk agreements," the diplomat said, describing the issue as a "failed attempt to divert the conversation at the Minsk talks to a different direction."

He added that in line with the reconciliation plan, the issue may be raised only after local elections are held and full political settlement is achieved.

"Ukraine should start thinking about it only after all issues that precede the elections are solved, security is ensured, a bill on the special status of Donbass is passed, an amnesty is declared and the special status of Donbass is sealed by the Constitution of Ukraine. Only after all these procedures are completed, the issue of border control may be raised," Miroshnik said.

In late 2015, the then German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, offered a formula for the settlement of the conflict in Donbass. It envisages a law, to be passed by the Ukrainian parliament, on a special procedure of self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.