- Permanent Mission
- Official Information
- Russia - OSCE
Alexander Lukashevich on the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2202, 11 February 2021
STATEMENT BY MR. ALEXANDER LUKASHEVICH,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION,
AT THE 1302nd MEETING OF THE OSCE PERMANENT COUNCIL
VIA VIDEO TELECONFERENCE
11 February 2021
On the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Package of Measures
for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements,
endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2202
Six years ago, at the height of the active phase of the armed confrontation in the east of Ukraine, a document was drawn up in Minsk that was aimed at putting an immediate stop to the violence and implementing effective steps towards the achievement of a comprehensive political settlement.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was the result of energetic diplomatic efforts supported by France, Germany and the Russian Federation, and it took into account the positions of the parties to the conflict, namely of the representatives of the Ukrainian leadership and of the leaders of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The then President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, insisted that this document setting out the parties’ mutual obligations within the framework of the settlement process should without fail be signed by the leaders of the republics proclaimed by the people of Donbas. A few days later, on 17 February 2015, this compact action plan consisting of 13 paragraphs was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 2202, thereby becoming part of international law and subject to mandatory implementation.
All the provisions of the Package of Measures were meant to have been implemented by the end of 2015. Unfortunately, though, the overwhelming majority of its paragraphs are even today – six years on – very far from having been put into practice. In spite of this, all the participants in the settlement process and international co-mediators have repeatedly pointed to the absence of any alternatives to the Minsk agreements when it comes to achieving a peaceful, politico-diplomatic settlement of the crisis.
A fully consolidated consensus would appear to have emerged on that score among the OSCE participating States. Despite the differences in our understanding of the origins of the crisis in Ukraine, we are united by our realization of the need for practical implementation, at all costs, of the Package of Measures, which would pave the way for sustainable peace and a long-term, viable resolution of the crisis.
A key instrument in this implementation is the Minsk-based Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) together with its thematic working groups. Unfortunately, for a long time now the discussions within these have not been marked by serious momentum. Thus, the ongoing, highly complicated work on drawing up a road map for the implementation of the Package of Measures is hampered by the regularly voiced appeals by individual participants in that process calling for the Minsk agreements to be “adjusted” or “clarified” or even to be “rewritten” completely.
Attempts to artificially drag out the negotiation process are merely making a settlement a more distant prospect. Yet, the situation near the line of contact in Donbas remains challenging. The continued confrontation there cannot simply be reduced to dry statistics on the daily instances of shelling, of which the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has already counted more than 3,000 since the beginning of the year. Rather, it is reflected in the fate of specific people, who for seven years now have been waiting for peace, finally, to come to their land. For example, over the past two weeks alone, a number of civilian objects in the settlement of Syhnalne (Donetsk region) were damaged by shelling, as was – just a few days ago – a functioning school in the settlement of Zolote-5/Mykhailivka (Luhansk region).
We exhort all our colleagues to adopt an earnest attitude, free of any opportunism, towards the need for a speedy settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. We believe that, in the current circumstances, the OSCE under its Swedish Chairmanship is capable of playing a significant constructive role and giving fresh impetus to the implementation of the Package of Measures. A collective, general show of support for United Nations Security Council resolution 2202 is required.
In this respect, as the sixth anniversary of the agreement on, and endorsement of, the text of the Package of Measures draws near, we are submitting a proposal to the Chairmanship and all the participating States for the adoption of a brief but meaningful statement by the Permanent Council in support of the implementation of the aforementioned resolution.
We think that it is essential for such a statement – which should take into account the efforts undertaken in Ukraine by the TCG, the “Normandy format” countries and the SMM – to convey emphatic support for the Package of Measures as the basis for a peaceful settlement in Donbas. It is important to call for the full and swift implementation of its provisions in strict sequence and in their entirety, and also to reiterate appeals to the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the TCG, to the co-ordinators of the TCG’s working groups and to the SMM to engage in active efforts in the interests of implementing the Package of Measures.
We are convinced that such a message will help to prevent escalation of the conflict – something that would be fraught with unforeseeable consequences – and that it will serve as an additional motivation for bringing peace closer in the east of Ukraine.
I request that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.
Thank you for your attention.