The first president of Ukraine says filling Minsk package with new content could be way to settle conflict

 
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8 January
09:30

The first president of Ukraine says filling Minsk package with new content could be way to settle conflict

A possible way to settle the conflict in Donbass could be through filling the Minsk agreements with a new content, Ukraine’s first President Leonid Kravchuk said on Sunday.

"How can we stop the war (the armed conflict in Donbass - TASS)? There are several ways… We can change of fill the Minsk format with other content," he said in an interview with the 112.Ukrainia television channel.

Apart from that, according to Kravchuk, a meeting between Ukraine’s and Russia’s leaders could be a major step towards the conflict settlement. He said that such meeting could tackle all aspects of the settlement but for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, a subject the sides "will never be able to speak about."

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

These agreements however have not been implemented until now. The Ukrainian side has been dodging implementation of the package’s political provisions citing security problems as a reason. Ukraine has failed to carry out a constitutional reform, to enforce a law on the region’s special status and to pass a law on elections in Donbass. Instead, it insists on regaining control over the border with Russia, which is to take place only after the elections, as is envisaged by the Minsk agreements.

 

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