The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation released a comment by its spokesperson on a recent German-French statement on the settlement of the conflict in Donbas.

The joint statement made by the ministries of foreign affairs of Germany and France praised the Ukrainian side for implementing the commonly agreed conclusions of the Normandy format Paris Summit (9 December 2019). In particular, it was noted that the Ukrainian side, complying with the obligations undertaken in Paris, created conditions to improve the situation at the crossing points on the contact line in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. That was done “before winter sets in and to ease the suffering of the people in eastern Ukraine.”

The assessment of Ukraine’s efforts on the path towards consistent implementation of the Minsk agreements made by the foreign ministries of Germany and France triggered a flurry of emotions, unfounded criticism, and manipulative accusations of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“They [Russia’s statements] are untrue and are an unsuccessful attempt to justify a further aggressive policy of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine and the unwillingness of the Russian side to take at least minimal steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions or to facilitate unhindered contacts between Ukrainian citizens on both sides of the contact line,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also categorically rejects the accusations made by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation regarding the alleged attempts of the Ukrainian side to “disavow the Minsk Agreements.”

“The draft Joint Action Plan of the TCG participants to implement the Minsk Agreements, which was prepared at the initiative of the Head of the Ukrainian delegation Leonid Kravchuk and recently submitted to the TCG, contains practical proposals for a complete cessation of the conflict, demilitarisation of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and creation of conditions for holding local elections in Donbas. This fully corresponds to the letter and spirit of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 2015,” the Ukrainian diplomats emphasise.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine informed that illegal armed groups continue to prevent citizens from crossing the contact line without impediment. The free movement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is also restricted.

Natalia Tolub

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