Zelensky abolished the Ukrainian delegation in the Contact Group

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has officially abolished the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine. The corresponding decree was posted on September 1 on the website of the head of state.
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“To recognize as invalid the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated May 5, 2020 No. 167/2020 “On the delegation of Ukraine to participate in the Trilateral Contact Group,” the message says.

This decree cancels six presidential decrees of 2020-2021 on the work of the Ukrainian delegation in the Contact Group and the composition of this delegation. The document comes into force from the date of publication.

The Trilateral Contact, or Minsk Group, which includes Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was formed in the summer of 2014. The de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine is discussed at the meetings of the Contact Group. The Minsk agreements are taken as a basis, which provide for a constitutional reform, a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact.

Thanks to the work of the Contact Group, negotiations were held in the Normandy Four format (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France). As a result, in September 2014 and February 2015, agreements were reached on agreeing on a plan for a peaceful settlement and a ceasefire in Donbass within the framework of the Minsk agreements. According to the set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements, the special status of Donbass provided for the right to linguistic self-determination of the inhabitants of the region, the creation of a people’s militia and an amnesty for all participants in the armed conflict. The Minsk agreements were approved by a UN Security Council resolution and are binding.

However, the settlement of the conflict has stalled due to Kyiv’s refusal to comply with the “political clauses” of the Minsk agreements. The government of Ukraine dragged out negotiations in the Contact Group both under ex-president Petro Poroshenko and after Volodymyr Zelensky came to power. In particular, Kyiv refuses to have a direct dialogue with the DPR and LPR, and opposes fixing their special status in the constitution.

In June, a Kremlin spokesman recalled that promises had not been kept before, starting with Zelenskiy’s key campaign words to end the war in southeastern Ukraine. In addition, the Minsk agreements have sunk into oblivion, “we have no credit of confidence in Ukraine.”

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