OSCE – Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
A lasting and sustainable peace is possible only on the basis of the exhaustive and conscientious implementation by the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk – of all the provisions of the “Package of Measures” in their entirety, consistency and interconnection.
Presentation of Russian Federation Representative A.K. Lukashevich to OSCE Permanent Council
January 27, 2022
On the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the continued failure of the Ukrainian authorities to comply with the Minsk agreements
Dear Mr Chairman,
Foreign curators of today’s Ukraine have intensified their attempts to destabilize the situation inside this country and push the Kiev regime to rash and disastrous military decisions. This becomes absolutely obvious against the background of two trends.
First. Kiev is deliberately not sent any incentives in order to implement the key provision of the Minsk agreements by the Ukrainian authorities, namely, the implementation of a direct dialogue with representatives of certain areas of Donbass on ways to politically resolve the intra-Ukrainian crisis. Simply put, they encourage further sabotage of the implementation of the “Package of Measures”. The price of such sabotage is the pain of irreparable human losses, crippled destinies and new destruction in the Donbass.
Second. Some NATO countries have sharply stepped up the “pumping” of Ukraine with offensive weapons for allegedly “defensive” purposes. Over the past week, at least four planes have arrived in Kyiv carrying US military supplies, including lethal weapons and ammunition for use in the Donbass. Earlier, shuttle British military transport aviation “registered” on the route between Kiev and the British Isles.
According to reports, hundreds of American Javelins, thousands of British missile systems, over 400,000 rounds of ammunition, including for large-caliber weapons, and much more arrived in Ukraine in January alone. There are reports that American-made weapons from the Baltic republics, howitzers from the Czech Republic, millions of rounds of ammunition from Slovakia, more than a dozen Turkish Bayraktar attack drones and so on are scheduled to be transferred in February. So, this is what support for a peaceful politico-diplomatic settlement of the crisis in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements looks like?
According to US Secretary of State E. Blinken, his country “will supply even more weapons in the near future.” Last year, the United States gave Ukraine at least $650 million in “aid” in military appropriations, many of which were used to purchase weapons that could be used offensively. In total, since 2014, the United States has “pumped up” Ukraine with such “military aid” in the amount of about $2.7 billion.
All these actions are accompanied by disinformation, or, to put it simply, fakes like the British Foreign Office created and disseminated on January 23 some plan attributed to Russia to “establish a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine.” Apparently, London could not decide which of the two myths promoted there is more attractive – about the “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine” or about the “establishment of a pro-Russian regime”, which, obviously, does not imply any “invasion”. A number of countries hastened to make statements about the evacuation of family members of diplomats from their embassies from the territory of Ukraine. All this is obviously intended to make people believe in the most negative scenarios and sow panic.
One thing is clear: all these insinuations are an attempt to divert attention from Kiev’s failure to comply with the Minsk agreements and the actual bankruptcy of the authorities in domestic, primarily socio-economic policy.
By the way, today’s Ukraine, which has experienced almost eight years of external control, is increasingly reminiscent of a serious patient on an “artificial lung ventilation” machine. Its economy cannot survive without manual loans, called “financial support.” So, on January 24, it was announced that the European Union would allocate another package in the amount of 1.2 billion euros. Or, for example, Canada’s decision two days earlier to issue a loan of $120 million. There are many examples of the provision of urgent loans for “patching holes” in the Ukrainian economy, we will not remember them all.
Remarkable moment. “Horror stories about the invasion”, sounding primarily from the United States, are not shared even in the leadership of Ukraine, urging them not to sow panic. Over the past week, President V. Zelensky, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council A. Danilov, Minister of Defense A. Reznikov, official representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry O. Nikolenko, head of the faction of the ruling party in parliament D. Arakhamia and others spoke on this subject. A. Danilov back in November of last year called such rumors “deliberate disinformation” within the framework of “information-psychological special operations”, and the other day he asked journalists to “slow down the heat”. Not to mention their concern about the worsening macroeconomic situation in the country and the investment climate as a result of military hysteria from the West.
Despite all this, in the United States, both from the lips of officials and representatives, and through the state-controlled media, they continue to call the statements of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities “contradictory”, assuring that they see “all signs of preparations for hostilities” in the coming weeks. It is no coincidence that recently a number of Ukrainian parliamentarians demanded an assessment of the actions of an employee of the US Embassy in Ukraine, E. Kravtsiv, in whose actions they saw “war propaganda”. As E. Kravtsiv herself previously reported, she, along with other employees of the American embassy, intends to explain to Ukrainians “the inevitability of war with Russia” and distribute some manuals.
At the same time, it is no less remarkable that, while talking about the absence of an imaginary threat of “invasion” from abroad, the military-political leadership of Ukraine continues to build up a military group not just anywhere, but along the line of contact in Donbass. About 150,000 servicemen are already near it. Recently, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine A. Reznikov announced an increase in the number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by another 11,000 people. Arrive in the Donbass and representatives of paramilitary nationalist formations. Including the “Right Sector”, which was never disarmed in accordance with clause 10 of the Minsk “Package of Measures”. All this testifies to the active study in Kiev of plans for the preparation of armed provocations in the Donbass.
We are concerned about the presence of foreigners near the contact line – professional military personnel under the guise of “instructors”, as well as employees of private military companies, mercenaries and other persons. We paid attention to the Sky News material released on January 25, which showed footage of the stay in the area of the settlement. Pavlopol, Donetsk region, armed “contract soldiers” J. Wood and S. Pinner, who arrived in Ukraine from Great Britain.
Under these conditions, a special role falls on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, its capabilities in the framework of early warning of a dangerous escalation. It is necessary to carefully monitor the supply and movement of military equipment and weapons, establish cases of their placement in violation of the withdrawal lines, track the facts of their use, and timely record the destruction of civilian objects as a result of shelling. Strong efforts must be made, primarily for humanitarian purposes, to restore communication between representatives of the parties to the conflict and restart the mechanism for providing security guarantees, curtailed as a result of offensive actions by the Ukrainian military last autumn. All this, of course, without prejudice to the monitoring of the SMM in the rest of the country within the framework of mandated tasks.
On January 26, a video meeting of the Contact Group was held. On the same day, foreign policy advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Four countries held a contact in Paris. Diplomatic efforts were aimed at giving impetus to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. We regret that on both tracks this time again it was not possible to achieve practical results. Kiev continues its undisguised sabotage of the Minsk settlement process – first of all, by not providing any answers to the numerous proposals of Donetsk and Luhansk on the implementation of the “Package of Measures” of February 12, 2015, approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202. In addition, Ukraine’s line of marginalization of the Contact Group, attempts to address issues within its competence to the “Normandy format” are obvious.
As has been repeatedly noted, Kiev’s key commitment under the Minsk Package of Measures is a direct dialogue with the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk on all aspects of the settlement, including the special status of Donbass. Nevertheless, going to the meeting in the Normandy format, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksandr Yermak defiantly announced that Kiev did not intend to fulfill the specific requirements of the Minsk agreements and specific Normandy agreements. Describing the events of recent days, he assessed them as “raising the stakes in order to persuade Ukraine to an amnesty and the F.-W. Steinmeier formula.” And then he added: “This will not happen.” Do I need to remind you that the amnesty is provided for in clause 5 of the “Complex of Measures”, and “the formula of F.-V. -Steinmeier” should be integrated into Ukrainian legislation in accordance with the final documents of the summit of the leaders of the “Normandy Four” on December 9, 2019? The above-mentioned actions of representatives of Ukraine are spinning the situation in a very dangerous spiral, fraught with a new flare-up of an armed conflict.
A few words about the work of the Normandy format. Undoubtedly, he can and must play a constructive role in promoting a settlement. However, this format will be effective only when there is an agreed understanding and interpretation of the Minsk agreements among its participants. Without eliminating the current discrepancies regarding the perception of the Minsk agreements, the Normandy format will not be able to send constructive signals to the Contact Group, which is the main work on the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures.
Under these conditions, we call on the external curators of the authorities in Kiev to stop the destabilizing militarization of Ukraine and provide all possible assistance to the political and diplomatic way out of the crisis in this country. A lasting and sustainable peace is possible only on the basis of the exhaustive and conscientious implementation by the parties to the conflict – Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk – of all the provisions of the “Package of Measures” in their entirety, consistency and interconnection.