Kiev blocked Russia’s proposals to set up real mechanisms preventing ceasefire violations at the Wednesday meeting of the Contact Group seeking peace for eastern Ukraine, Russian Plenipotentiary Representative to the Group Boris Gryzlov told reporters after the meeting.
"Instead of discussing substantive issues, everything was aimed at building convoluted ‘legal structures’ so as not to recognize Donbass as a party to the conflict," he noted. "In fact, for the sake of compliance with invented red lines, which run counter to the Minsk accords, Kiev is sacrificing the security and lives of people in southeastern Ukraine."
According to Gryzlov, the meeting "confirmed once again that despite political statements about the pursuit of peace, the current Ukrainian authorities demonstrate their inability to take practical steps to observe the ceasefire so as to appease the few radical political forces."
"In this situation, it is hardly possible to expect Ukraine to be constructive in addressing much thornier political issues to resolve the conflict," he concluded.
Among the key issues of the Wednesday meeting was a draft coordination mechanism needed to enforce the ceasefire which was agreed last summer. Dmitry Kozak, deputy chief of the Russian presidential staff, told reporters last week that the agreements signed on July 22, 2020 approved additional ceasefire measures, with its key element being cooperation between the parties to the conflict in the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination (JCCC), TASS reports.
According to Kozak, representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Donbass militia were expected to interact directly to promptly respond to ceasefire violations, verify them and effectively prevent escalation of fire. Kozak pointed out that Ukraine had signed these agreements but was doing everything possible to avoid their practical implementation.