The Minsk agreement extended to 2016

MOSCOW, December 30. Leaders “channel four” agreed to extend the expiration date of the Minsk agreements by 2016.

During today’s telephone conversation of Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had also discussed the security issues in the South-East of Ukraine and economic problems.

Moscow explained

“The leaders discussed in detail the remaining tense and volatile situation in the South-East of Ukraine in the context of the implementation of the agreed 12 February 2015 in Minsk agreements. Agreed to extend the period of validity for 2016. Noted the importance of further work of the contact group for the full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk package of measures”, – said the press service of the Kremlin.

The foreign Ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine commissioned in the beginning of 2016 a thorough inventory of the progress of the Minsk agreements. Will be continued and the personal relationship between leaders of the four countries.

The Russian leader also outlined Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko “assessing the effect of implementation of the Association agreement EC-Ukraine for Russian-Ukrainian cooperation”. “Putin stressed that Russia was forced to go to Ukraine to most favored nation treatment in trade”, – said in the Kremlin.

In the conversation touched upon “issues related to gas supplies to Ukraine of Russian gas”.

The cease-fire and elections

The leaders of the “Quartet” stressed “the basic need of a strict observance of the ceasefire regime on the contact line in Donbass”, – stated in the message Kremlin press service. “This would create preconditions for the implementation of tasks related to the further promotion of a political settlement. Agreed, in particular, to intensify the discussion in the contact group focused on urgent development and adoption of the law on local elections in certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions”, – noted in the Kremlin.

In the statement of the press service of the President of France stated that the preparations for the upcoming in the beginning of next year local elections in the Donbas was given special attention. “All participants expressed support to the working group on political Affairs, which is designed to facilitate the determination of the parameters of the elections in the period until the end of January 2016, with the assistance of the OSCE and the Venice Commission”, – reported in the Elysee Palace.

As the press service of the Ukrainian President noted that “Norman four” urged the contact group to intensify work “on the modalities of holding local elections in certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions”. “This work should become part of the Office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR)”, – stated in the message.

It also notes that Poroshenko once again stated that the elections in the Donbass “should be held with the participation of the Ukrainian parties, the Ukrainian media, the Central election Commission, international observers and in accordance with all standards of the OSCE ODIHR”. To maintain order and security during the electoral process Poroshenko has proposed to deploy on the territory of Donbass “the special mission of the European Union”.

The head of Ukraine considers it necessary to provide “immediate access” to Donbass “all international humanitarian missions, in particular the International Committee of the red cross and the Organization “Doctors without borders”. He also called for “go home all of the Ukrainian hostages.”

Not excluded the provocation

“There are many questions to himself and to the Minsk agreements and to implement them. Unfortunately, we have seen that the Ukrainian side did not follow them and continued to make provocations”, – said the political scientist, member of the RF Public chamber, President of the Center for social and political studies “Aspect” Georgy Fedorov.

“However, the most important result of these agreements that had stopped or, rather, dramatically reduced the attacks of peace settlements and residential quarters of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Minsk agreement has also allowed to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbass, an exchange of prisoners,” he said.

In his opinion, “the termination of the Minsk agreements could finally untie the hands of the “party of war” in Kiev and the Nazi battalions who are excited about a rematch”. Fedorov is sure that “it is impossible to be relaxed optimistic”, as “Kiev is preparing for a new war”.

According to him, in the West of Ukraine on military ground on the border with Poland “Ukrainian soldiers under the guidance of American trainers are preparing for combat operations”. “Unfortunately, the Minsk peace agreement for Ukraine is not guaranteed and can be violated by Kiev and his “puppeteers” – said the expert.