Friday, June 14

Speech by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE, A.K. Lukashevich, at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in connection with the complete failure of Ukraine’s implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the ensuing consequences

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Dear Mr. Chairman,

On February 21, 2022, the President of Russia signed Decrees recognizing the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. Both chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation have today ratified treaties with the DPR and the LPR on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance. This is a very difficult, but forced decision. It is dictated, first of all, by humanitarian considerations, the desire to protect civilians from the ongoing armed violence in Donbass by the current Ukrainian authorities. The decision was made taking into account the free expression of the will of the residents of Donbass, expressed through an official appeal of their representatives, on the basis of the provisions of the UN Charter, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations between States, the Final Act of the CSCE of 1975, and other fundamental documents, which enshrine the right of peoples to self-determination and the obligation of other states to respect such a right.

Just yesterday, at a special meeting of the OSCE Post-Council, we heard reports from the Special Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for Ukraine and in the Contact Group, M. Kinnunen, and the head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Ya.Kh.Cevik. They “sounded the alarm” regarding the sharp aggravation of the situation on the contact line, the increase in shelling of civilian objects. Mr. Y.H. Chevik reported on new reports of casualties and destruction that the Mission did not have time to process.

From the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has been making persistent efforts to resolve it by peaceful, diplomatic means. Russian representatives assisted the intra-Ukrainian dialogue in the Contact Group, worked on the settlement in the “Normandy format”.

Let’s recall our discussions of recent years in this Hall. No one except us and our allies spoke about the need for strict implementation of the Minsk “Package of Measures”. Representatives of the current regime in Kiev and their foreign curators, on the contrary, vocally advocated something completely different: to establish control over the border and suppress dissent in Donbass without providing its population with any political guarantees and status, which are provided for by the Minsk Package of Measures. Instead of reaching political agreement with their fellow citizens, the regime carried out a punitive operation against them, and in fact – a civil war. Kiev publicly, including at the highest political level, stated that “Donbass will not receive any special status,” “there will be no direct dialogue with representatives of the DPR and LPR,” and the Minsk agreements are allegedly “impossible.” Today, dear ladies and gentlemen, have you remembered them?

At the same time, the Ukrainian military continued to concentrate the armed group on the contact line – foreign shock weapons, so-called “instructors” from NATO countries, heavy equipment and weapons appeared there. A power scenario was being prepared. The paramilitary formations of Ukrainian nationalists, prohibited by paragraph 10 of the “Package of Measures”, have not gone anywhere from there. We have repeatedly cited statements by the leaders of the Right Sector combat squads that no truces have been written to Ukrainian nationalists. Moreover, they publicly declared that “Donbass will be Ukrainian or deserted,” under the slogan “death to Muscovites” they shot at residents of Donbass, for whom the native language is Russian. The population of the region faced the threat of physical destruction. It became quite obvious that for the post-Maidan authorities of Ukraine, Donbass is, first of all, a territory, and not the people living on it. Now these people are leaving their homes, fleeing to Russia, not only to the southern, but also to the central regions. To accuse us of orchestrating this escalation is blasphemous. Have you thought about people?

All this was not seen – or rather, pretended not to notice – by our Western partners. Not once, not a word was mentioned about the need for Kiev to immediately and unconditionally stop measures to strangle the region – for example, the lifting of the socio-economic blockade by Kiev. Instead, some NATO countries have embarked on an unprecedented and demonstrative pumping of lethal weapons into Ukraine and, in fact, issuing carte blanche for further killings of civilians and destruction of civilian objects.

Dear colleagues,

Have the conscience to admit that for seven years, despite UN Security Council resolution 2202, despite the support of the Normandy format, despite the Contact Group mechanism created for this, it was Kiev that consistently worked to ensure that the “Package of Measures” was never implemented. Otherwise, the relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine would have been made back in 2015, Donetsk and Lugansk were part of Ukraine with a special status, and the Ukrainian state controlled the border. More than one election would have already taken place in these regions, possibly under the supervision of the ODIHR. All these are not Russia’s obligations, but goals that we have not been able to achieve from Kiev for seven whole years.

Let us repeat: Kiev, from the moment of signing the “Package of Measures”, was not going to implement it, subsequently even openly declared the insignificance of the agreements reached in Minsk. The belligerent rhetoric of Ukrainian officials was constantly heard, publicly speaking about the rejection of direct dialogue with Donbass and intentions to solve the crisis by military means. In fact, Kiev has not just withdrawn from the Minsk agreements for a long time, but has never entered into them, formally putting its signature under them.

We have already seen this behavior from Kiev’s Western partners. To give any assurances, any promises, even to sign specific obligations without the intention to fulfill them. It won’t work that way.

I ask you to attach this statement to the Journal of the day of today’s expanded meeting of the Permanent Council.

Thank you for your attention.



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