Russia suggests adopting a UN Security Council statement in support of the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya said on Tuesday.
He said that Russia was interested in ending the bloodshed in the east of the country as soon as possible.
“That’s why we suggest adopting a brief statement of the Council’s chairman,” Nebenzya said.
He read out fragments of the Russia-drafted document, which calls for ensuring full and consistent observance of the Minsk accords, including the provision on total ceasefire. The Russian diplomat added that the draft statement also points out at the need to abstain from any measures and public statements that contradict the spirit and letter of UN Security Council resolution 2202.
“We hope that the Council would express its unanimous support to peace settlement in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements,” Nebenzya said.
According to Russia’s envoy to the UN, Ukraine has been constantly dodging its commitments under the Minsk deal, because the Kiev government is reluctant to put those agreements into practice.
“The reason why Kiev sabotages the Minsk agreements in simple. Kiev does not seek reconciliation, and it does not need Donbass, too. Why should they be eager to get several millions of voters with strong anti-governmental sentiments ahead of the 2019 presidential elections? The approval rating of the Kiev government has already reached rock bottom,” he said.
Nebenzya added that a practical settlement requires negotiations with the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine.
“Therefore, they [the Kiev government] will have to admit that it is an internal conflict, a fratricidal war,” he went on, adding that the incumbent Kiev government “has no political will to do this, it cannot afford destroying the convenient myth of Russian aggression.”
The Russian envoy reiterated that the UN Security Council Resolution 2202 designates the Minsk Complex of Measures as the legal basis for reconciliation.
“No one should have illusions that any decision can work without taking the Donbass people’s will into account,” he continued. “In order to support the agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, we suggested setting up a peacekeeping mission. Regretfully, instead of this we witness attempts to create some alternative format of settlement under the UN aegis, replacing the efforts made by the Normandy Four and OSCE, and turning the Minsk Complex of Measures upside down.”
The UN Security Council held a session devoted to Ukraine on Tuesday, the first since February 2017.
The Minsk agreements, signed by members of the Contact Group in February 2015 and approved by leaders of the Normandy Four group (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), lay the foundation for a peaceful settlement in Donbass. The deal envisages not only a ceasefire and a withdrawal of weapons, amnesty and restoration of economic ties, but also deep constitutional reforms in Ukraine to decentralize power, granting special status to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the country’s east. However, all this just remains a plan.