On 22 July 2015 Foreign Affairs Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a Resolution calling on Foreign Affairs Committees of Parliaments and Parliamentary Assemblies to ensure Russia’s implementation of Minsk package provisions. The Committee addresses respective committees, heads of parliamentary delegations to decisively and without delay undertake all possible instruments of parliamentary diplomacy, all their effect and good will for stopping Russian aggression and achieving peace in the East of Ukraine based on implementation of Minsk Package by Russia and Russia-backed terrorists. The document defines steps already done by the Ukrainian side and highly comments the ongoing active work of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) and its working subgroups (WSGs) as well as effectiveness of “Normandy Four” meetings. The address is aimed to ensure relevant steps are done by all interested sides, including the Russian Federation, and to undertake efforts for implementing provisions of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 12 February 2015. Foreign Affairs Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supports existing measures and steps done by Ukraine in order to ensure peace, security and stability in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It underlines that political and diplomatic solutions to the developments in the East of Ukraine lay within responsible and immediate implementation of Minsk package provisions and the Presidential Declaration (Declaration by the President of the Russian Federation, the President of the Ukraine, the President of the French Republic and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in support of the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” adopted on February 12, 2015 in Minsk). The restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and cease of Russia’s military aggression against our country is possible solely with due respect and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk package along with active support of parliamentary diplomacy.
Ø The Committee calls for strict implementation of Minsk arrangements and its due implementation, primarily, in provisions of comprehensive cease-fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons, ensuring release of hostages. It is supported by Ukraine’s actions towards Constitutional reform implementation, legislative steps aimed to true decentralization of powers in Ukraine, preparatory work on holding local elections, including government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine in accordance with Ukraine’s legislation and OSCE standards;
Ø Holding further local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine compliance with Ukraine’s legislation and OSCE standards as well as OSCE ODIHR positive election observation assessment is seen as a cornerstone of Minsk arrangements and integral part of stabilizing situation in Donbas, for it will bring legitimate partners for the political dialogue;
Ø In fact, electoral farce of illegal elections in Donbas (2 November 2014) undermined Minsk arrangements of 5 and 19 September 2014. It also threatened peace process development. Meanwhile, parliamentary amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Special Order of Local Self-Government in Some Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions” absolutely diminish efforts of Russia’s backed militants to legitimize illegal entities in Donbas which had been established after illegal elections on 2 November 2014;
Ø The Committee highly comments the active work of the TCG and relevant WSGs which begun substantial discussions of practical steps necessary for due implementation of the Minsk package provisions;
Ø The Committee believes that following issues should be of a primary attention of WSGs:
- immediate coordination and support of practical implementation of additional actions capable to ensure immediate and comprehensive ceasefire;
- completion of the withdrawal of heavy weapons of 100 mm caliber and higher;
- further withdrawal of tanks, guns of 100 mm caliber and mortars up to 120 mm caliber (under OSCE monitoring and verification);
- solving social and economic, humanitarian problems in the region caused by terrorist activities of the so-called “D/LPR” and Russia’s military aggression in the East of Ukraine;
- unconditional release of all hostages, including Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia;
- free access of international humanitarian assistance to affected areas.
Ø One of the essential dimensions of TCG and WSGs work is their facilitation of the OSCE effective monitoring and verification, OSCE SMM work in Ukraine, in particular, providing free movements and security of Organization’s observers, their free access to any area, including temporarily uncontrolled parts of Ukrainian-Russian state border;
Ø The Committee notes that irrespective of preconditions for peaceful settlement in Donbas established by Minsk arrangements, there’s a significant deterioration of security situation due to the increased intensity of shellings, provocations of illegal armed groups of the so-called “D/LPR”;
Ø The Russian Federation as one of the “Normandy Four” sides fuels situation in Donbas by supplying the so-called “D/LPR” with modern military equipment, weapons and ammunition, unchecked militants’ recruitment and trainings at its territory, enforcing regular military troops in its war against the Ukrainian nation. Instead of affecting terrorist units to cease fire, the Russian Federation undertakes the abovementioned actions.