Kiev, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admits that his country cannot give up the Minsk agreements. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he would like to withdraw from the Minsk agreements, but it is not so easy.
“As I said at one of the briefings, I don’t think we can just withdraw from the Minsk agreements. Because the Europeans can lift sanctions against Russia and representatives of the unrecognized republics, but I would go out personally,” he said. to end the war in Donbass, “with the exception of Ukraine and its European partners.”
The Minsk agreements on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine include a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, and constitutional reform, the main elements of which must be decentralization and the adoption of a law on the special status of Donbass. However, this plan has not yet been implemented, as Ukrainian politicians are constantly postponing its implementation and even declaring that it is only consultative and not mandatory.
Russia’s position is that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements. President Vladimir Putin noted that this document, signed, inter alia, by representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk, was confirmed by the relevant UN Security Council resolution and has acquired the force of international law, so it would not be possible to be revised unilaterally.
The Ukrainian – Crimean Peninsula, north of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe, was annexed by the Russian Federation between February and March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.
President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the Russian Federation is in no hurry to end the war in Donbas but it is too early to talk about Plan B.
“I believe that no one wants to end the war, except Ukraine. No, European partners also want to end it. Only Russia is not in a hurry, it is unprofitable for the militants. It turns out a simple situation from which we need to find a difficult way out,” Zelensky said.
The President stressed that Ukraine cannot simply withdraw from the Minsk agreements because the Europeans could lift sanctions on Russia and representatives of occupied Donbas but added that he personally would withdraw.
“Now, sitting on twine, we need to do something, get to our feet, because otherwise we will move forward too slowly. So we said that we do not agree with some points. And we will elaborate a detailed plan to end the war. To this end, we proposed to establish ceasefire and observe it from a specific date, without paying attention to provocations. I believe that the first step has been taken,” the President said.
He noted that the next step will be a meeting of advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format countries who should prepare a meeting of leaders. Zelensky informed that the meeting of advisers was to take place in December 2020 and it was planned to discuss concrete steps. He also wants specific dates to be tied to these steps.
“And here the disputes arise because everyone will have to bear responsibility for the dates. This meeting did not take place. First, they argue. Second, the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing so now it does not take place as well,” the Head of State said.
According to him, a plan with all the dates will be prepared after the meeting. At the same time, Zelensky stressed that this is Plan A, while it is too early to talk about Plan B. As reported, the ceasefire has been in force in Donbas since July 27, 2020.
After the Trilateral Contact Group meeting on July 22 at which additional measures were agreed upon to strengthen the ceasefire, the OSCE SMM has recorded at least 4,444 ceasefire violations since 00:01 on July 27, 2020.