The sides in the Donbas conflict have failed to coordinate the ceasefire measures, Russian envoy to the Minsk talks Boris Gryzlov said after a session of the Contact Group for the Ukrainian settlement on Tuesday.
“The Contact Group continued discussing additional measures, additional guarantees for compliance with the ceasefire regime aimed to ensure a stable truce,” Gryzlov said.
“Both Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as the mediators – the OSCE and Russia – agree that they [the measures] are necessary. However, Kiev “has once again refused to take all these measures in full,” the Russian envoy said.
Meanwhile, the situation on the contact line remains tense – “shelling of Donbass continues, people are suffering,” Gryzlov stressed.
A possibility to declare the so-called ‘harvest ceasefire’ was discussed at the very first session of the Contact Group after Vladimir Zelensky had become Ukrainian President, and after the return of Leonid Kuchma into the process of negotiations. Kuchma said back then that it was necessary to show ‘to the whole world’ that Kiev wanted the ceasefire. The sides agreed to work out the proposals within two weeks and planned to approve them before June 19. However, this did not happen at the previous meeting. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative Martin Sajdik was hopeful that the parties would succeed in declaring a ‘harvest ceasefire’ at the next meeting of the Contract Group on July 2.
On May 3, the Ukrainian president appointed Kuchma Kiev’s plenipotentiary envoy to the Contact Group, the post Kuchma used to occupy in 2014-2018. Following his appointment, Kuchma said he was planning to initiate a new ceasefire in Donbass in the near future for the harvest season.