President: Political settlement of situation in Donbas is possible only after implementation of security items of Minsk agreements (24.04.2016)
President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that there is no alternative to the return of Ukrainian sovereignty in Donbas and restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine. However, the beginning of political settlement of the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk region is possible only after the implementation of all security items of the Minsk agreements by pro-Russian militants.
“Political settlement can be started only when security criteria are ensured. We cannot allow legitimization of Russian occupation through the mechanism of pseudo elections similar to the Crimean pseudo referendum or pseudo elections of November 2, 2014. We will not allow that,” the Head of State said in the interview with Ukrainian TV channels.
“It is the main part of the Minsk agreements—constant ceasefire and security criteria that must be complied with not only on the touch line, but also at the entire occupied territory,” Petro Poroshenko added.
According to the President, this position is also supported by Ukraine’s partners in the Normandy format and the United States.
According to the President, current OSCE SMM cannot ensure the fulfillment of the abovementioned items. Shelling is continued and the Mission cannot always record these violations of the Minsk agreements.
“For they are unarmed. They can only record the fact of shelling, but they cannot always identify the side responsible for that. Thus, we must introduce a new special police mission that will ensure the security conditions,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
“The OSCE mission should also deploy permanent armed checkpoints in the areas of withdrawal of heavy weaponry and in the uncontrolled area of the Ukraine–Russia border in order to prevent the supply of Russian weaponry to the militants,” the Head of State said.
“Thus, the activity of the police armed mission will be divided into three phases. First—security component. Second—preparation and holding of elections. Third—conveying power to newly elected representatives of the Ukrainian Donbas,” the President noted.
“After the completion of this process, the function of the Mission will be fulfilled,” Petro Poroshenko said.
Das Auswärtige Amt zu angeblichen Planungen für eine bewaffnete OSZE-Mission in der Ostukraine (27.04.2016)
Zu Meldungen über angebliche Planungen für eine bewaffnete OSZE-Mission in der Ostukraine sagte ein Sprecher des Auswärtigen Amts heute (27.04). in Berlin:
»Die derzeitige Beobachtermission der OSZE in der Ostukraine ist eine zivile, unbewaffnete Mission. Das ist eine Entscheidung der 57 Teilnehmerstaaten der OSZE, und es gibt keine Absprachen unter Beteiligung Deutschlands und Frankreichs, weder innerhalb der OSZE noch im Normandie-Format, für Änderungen am zivilen Charakter der Mission.
Richtig ist, dass wir in Absprache innerhalb des Normandie-Formats als OSZE-Vorsitz das Sekretariat gebeten haben, Optionen zur Verbesserung der Sicherheit bei den geplanten Lokalwahlen zu entwickeln. Hier ist es zu früh, Ergebnisse festzustellen.
Ohne eine Entscheidung damit vorwegzunehmen: Für uns ist derzeit schwer vorstellbar, wie eine bewaffnete OSZE-Mission aussehen könnte, die das Ziel hätte, die Sicherheit der Wahlen in den Separatistengebieten wirksam durchzusetzen und die Sicherheit der OSZE-Beobachter zu verbessern.
Es gibt in der OSZE bisher keinen Präzedenzfall für eine bewaffnete Mission. Im Gegenteil: gerade ihr ziviler Charakter ist ein wichtiges Merkmal der OSZE-Beobachtermissionen, die mit der Akzeptanz der Konfliktparteien tätig werden.
Wenn man die Idee einer bewaffneten Mission zu Ende denkt, stellen sich eine ganze Reihe schwieriger rechtlicher, politischer, praktischer und militärischer Fragen.
Wir planen, in absehbarer Zeit ein erneutes Treffen im Normandie-Format auch auf Ebene der Außenminister auszurichten. Ein solches Treffen wäre dann auch der Anlass, all die Fragen im Zusammenhang mit den OSZE-Beobachtermissionen im Kreise der Normandie-Partner aufzunehmen.«
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Vesti v Subbotu programme, June 4, 2016
(…) Question: What is happening with the OSCE armed mission in Ukraine? There are updates coming from Moscow and Kiev every day.
Sergey Lavrov: One can always indulge in wishful thinking, but misrepresenting something discussed at a top level in telephone conversations or personal meetings is somewhat unethical.
Indeed, over the past two to three months, Ukrainian representatives and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have been literally obsessed with the idea that it is imperative to deploy some security forces all over the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, and only after there is international armed control over these areas it will be possible to conduct reforms, announce elections, change the constitution and so on. As a result, a top-level conversation revolved around increasing the efficiency of the OSCE mission working there. President of Russia Vladimir Putin spoke out, first of all, in favour of boosting the capabilities of this mission along the demarcation line. We supported the creation of several security zones along this line.
Question: This is what President Vladimir Putin talked about during the Q&A session, when he referred to it as a pretty good idea?
Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and creating several security zones in the most conflict-ridden areas, deploying additional OSCE observers there, and doing it in such a way as to thwart the Ukrainian armed forces’ attempts to return to the areas liberated from them (such attempts were made in Shirokino, for example).
The second thing we proposed was to station 24/7 enhanced detachments of OSCE observers in the areas of heavy military equipment storage, where it is often withdrawn pursuant to the Minsk Agreements and where it often disappears—both to the east of the demarcation line and in the area controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces. We also said that if it helps, we will be ready to agree to this additional group of observers carrying personal weapons while they monitor the demarcation line and storage of heavy military equipment under an OSCE decision.
Question: So not only helmets but personal weapons as well?
Sergey Lavrov: Guns for self-defence. This is acceptable practice. We can say that it is an element of police functions, but first of all it would be for safeguarding and monitoring non-violation of the withdrawal line and storage areas. Moreover, we would be ready (it is being discussed with the OSCE) to support one of OSCE’s proposals that emerged from the depth of its secretariat dealing with additional measures to ensure safety during elections. Our proposal was to supplement this OSCE mission and, to be more precise, create a separate observers’ group for the elections, which, jointly with people’s militia of Donetsk and Lugansk would monitor security. This is what we talked about and I would like to reiterate that it is in line with the discussions under way within the OSCE. (…)
Die OSZE-Mission zu den Protesten in der »DNR« (10.06.2016)
In Donetsk, the SMM observed 15,000–20,000 people participating in a demonstration against discussions surrounding an armed OSCE presence in the area. Before the demonstration began, the SMM noted 73 buses parked at the Donbas Arena and approximately 200 people waiting in the area. The SMM observed as crowds of people were directed by men in civilian clothes who had also arrived on the buses, towards various gathering points in the vicinity of a central public square. “Senior” “DPR” members spoke at the gathering and the demonstrators carried placards with slogans in English and Russian. The demonstrators began to disperse and return to the buses at approximately 11:00. More than 600 armed men and women (ten per cent women) were providing security for the gathering.