Kiev’s refusal to prolong operation of the law on the special status of Donbass actually puts an end to further discussion of the UN mission’s deployment to the region, member of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security Alexey Pushkov said on Thursday.
“Rejection of this law removes grounds for discussion of the UN mission in Donbass,” he stated, speaking at a meeting of the Committee for Social Support of Southeast Ukrainian Residents.
“The idea of a UN mission is directly connected to execution of the Minsk accords, serves as an extension to the Minsk accords and can be executed only on the basis of the Minsk accords.”
Pushkov reiterated that the issue had been discussed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in this way. “They proceeded from the fact that the Minsk accords are operating,” the senator stressed. “If Kiev rejects, in fact, the Minsk accords, it, in fact, rejects grounds to deploy the UN mission to Donbass.”
Pushkov affirmed that Kiev’s authorities, nevertheless, did not intend to adopt a new law or prolong operation of the existing one. “Hopes for any rationalism are futile,” he said.
“Kiev has another agenda, and it includes aggravation of nationalist aspects in the Ukrainian politics, as can be seen from the law on education that pits Ukraine against Hungary, Romania and, partly, against Poland and Bulgaria. This shows us the direction of advancement logics of the Ukrainian state. Strengthening of the country’s front status as a state that is at war with Russia is regarded as a priority, and this is some sort of indulgence to the nationalist degradation of Ukraine and further development of this country in the ultranationalist way.”
Noting once again that the law on the Donbass special status serves as a framework for the Minsk accords, the senator expressed confidence that its rejection does not mean “undermining the entire peace process or any prospects of political settlement.”
“This, in fact, leads to freezing of the situation,” Pushkov continued. “Russia is often accused of it, but, in fact, by rejecting the law, Kiev is leading the issue towards long a freeze of the eastern Ukrainian crisis.”
“We need to clearly state to our western partners that settlement on the basis of the Minsk accords is impossible without this law. We should advance this point at all international platforms, including the UN, OSCE and bilateral formats,” Alexey Pushkov stressed.
Under the Minsk accords, Kiev had to enter into force the law “On the special status of local self-governance in separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.” It was adopted in October 2014 with a three-year term, but has never worked, in fact. In March 2015, despite the Minsk accords and without coordination with Donbass representatives, Ukraine’ President Pyotr Poroshenko introduced amendments to this law that actually blocked the operation of this document. On October 18, 2017, the three-year term for the law will expire.