As tensions rise in war-torn Donbas, Kiev has proposed a ten-step process to resolve the conflict.
The measures were announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky and his senior adviser, Andrey Yermak, at a conference of Ukrainian ambassadors on Tuesday. According to Zelensky, the proposals can be implemented by parties to the Normandy format talks – Berlin, Moscow, Kiev and Paris – as well as Washington.
“We have passed these steps on to President Biden, Russia, France and Germany,” he added. said the Ukrainian leader.
Russian newspaper Kommersant said on Friday it had obtained details of the ten-point plan. One of the steps included holding a phone call between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss facilitating a “New Year / Christmas” the mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees, as well as the determination of the authorized representatives of the two presidents to begin negotiations on the continued transit of Russian gas after 2024.
Next steps should include preparing and coordinating the agenda and final documents for a meeting between the two heads of state. After that, Kommersant said, a Normandy Format Leaders Summit would take place.
The final step would be to reach agreement on a number of laws submitted to the Ukrainian parliament, including proposals on the specifics of local self-government, the decentralization of amnesty and the holding of regional elections in non-regional areas. controlled from Donetsk and Lugansk. However, these are not new and were listed in the “package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements” of 2015.
The Minsk Protocol is the ceasefire pact that was signed in 2014 with the aim of ending the war in Donbass. The conflict erupted following the events of Maidan 2014, when violent street protests toppled a democratically elected government. This ultimately led the two self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics to declare independence from Kiev.
Neither Russia, Ukraine, nor any other UN member state recognizes the sovereignty of separatist republics. Moscow argued that it was not a party to the fighting, saying it was up to Kiev to strike a deal with the leaders of the two regions.
In April, Zelensky said he was “Will not talk to terrorists”, insisting that he would rather meet Putin instead. The Ukrainian leader alleges that the separatists are supported by Russia.