Approval by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the middle of March of the resolution on the definition of selected districts, cities, towns and villages in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions where a special procedure for local self-government is introduced, is a demonstration of Ukraine’s dedication to Minsk agreements and the logic of the peace process.
This decision of the Ukrainian Parliament paves the way to free and fair elections in selected areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and with strict adherence to the OSCE standards for democratic elections monitored by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Positively assessed by ODIHR OSCE elections held in compliance with these requirements is the fundamental idea of the Minsk agreements and integral part of stabilization process of the situation in Ukrainian Donbas.
The electoral farce on November 2, 2014 in Donbas which was not recognized by the international community including the Russian Federation has disrupted the implementation of the Minsk agreements signed on September 5 and 19, 2014 and made impossible further development of the peace process. Instead of that any attempts of Russia backed leaders to legitimize illegal formations in Donbas which were created after November 2, 2014, were undermined by Verkhovna Rada’s of Ukraine approval of amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On a Special Order of Local Government in Certain Regions of Donetsk and Lugansk Areas”.
On April 16, 2015 Ukraine joined a number of the EU resolutions in which theEuropean Union and its Member States reiterate their support to the full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures as well as the diplomatic efforts undertaken within the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group to this end. At the same time, they expressed their grave concern about the continued ceasefire violations, especially around Donetsk airport and Shyrokyne, and about the suffering inflicted on civilians who remain in the area. They reiterated that any attempts by the Russiabacked separatists to gain control of additional territory would constitute a violation of the Minsk agreements and will seriously undermine all efforts promoting a sustainable political resolution of the conflict. In their opinion only the full implementation of the Minsk agreements offers a way forward to a sustainable political solution to the crisis.
Along with the entire international community the EU hopes that the Russian Federation will use this opportunity to abandon the path of aggression and terrorism and come back on the rails of peaceful settlement. It expects the Kremlin authorities not to impede the democratic will expression and to avoid any provocations.
Nevertheless Russia keeps pouring heavy weapons, military equipment and manpower into the east of Ukraine. It continuously steps up its military presence in Ukraine and supports the terrorists. On April 23, Russia sent to Ukraine the 25th so-called “humanitarian aid convoys” which illegally broke Ukraine’s border without consent of and inspection by the Ukrainian authorities. The so-called “humanitarian convoy” consisted of 122 trucks. Hence, despite Ukraine’s numerous requests to the Russian side to stop abiding by the commitment to deliver humanitarian convoys after authorization by the Ukrainian authorities and relevant border and customs clearance and on the basis of an international mechanism, Russia roughly violated the provision on ensuring of safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in need, on the basis of an international mechanism. Russia continuously ignores Ukraine’s demands to deliver these so-called “humanitarian convoys” through Ukraine-controlled customs stations.
For its part, Ukraine follows relentlessly the spirit and provisions of the agreements signed in Minsk on September 2014 and February 2015 to bring back peace and stability to Ukrainian Donbas.