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So, What Does The Minsk Agreement Actually Say?


Since the Minsk Agreement was brokered by Russia, France And Germany last year there's been an awful lot said about it by people who seem to not have the faintest idea what the agreement is about. Not just on this forum.

The document is not very long and does not, as far as we know, contain any hidden clauses. The first agreement may well have done.

Here it is:
 • Immediate and full ceasefire in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine and its strict fulfilment as of 00.00 midnight (Kiev time) on Feb. 15, 2015.

• Pull-out of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of creation of a security zone on minimum 50 kilometres apart for artillery of 100mm calibre or more, and a security zone of 70km for MLRS and 140 kilometres for MLRS Tornado-S, Uragan, Smerch and tactical missile systems Tochka U.

– for Ukrainian troops, from actual line of contact;

– for armed formations of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine, from the contact line in accordance with the Minsk memorandum as of Sept. 19, 2014

• The pullout of the above mentioned heavy weapons has to start no later than the second day after the ceasefire and finish within 14 days.

• This process will be assisted by OSCE with the support of the Trilateral Contact Group.

• Effective monitoring and verification of ceasefire regime and pullout of heavy weapons by OSCE will be provided from the first day of pullout, using all necessary technical means such as satellites, drones, radio-location systems etc.

• On the first day after the pullout a dialogue is to start on modalities of conducting local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” and also about the future of these districts based on the above mentioned law.

• Without delays, but no later than 30 days from the date of signing of this document, a resolution has to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, indicating the territory which falls under the special regime in accordance with the law “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” based in the line set up by the Minsk Memorandum as of Sept. 19, 2014.

• Provide pardon and amnesty by way of enacting a law that forbids persecution and punishment of persons in relation to events that took place in particular departments of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine.

• Provide release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons, based on the principle of “all for all”. This process has to end – at the latest – on the fifth day after the pullout (of weapons).

• Provide safe access, delivery, storage and distribution of humanitarian aid to the needy, based on an international mechanism.

• Define the modalities of a full restoration of social and economic connections, including social transfers, such as payments of pensions and other payments (income and revenue, timely payment of communal bills, restoration of tax payments within the framework of Ukrainian legal field)

• With this aim, Ukraine will restore management over the segment of its banking system in the districts affected by the conflict, and possibly, an international mechanism will be established to ease such transactions.

• Restore full control over the state border by Ukrainian government in the whole conflict zone, which has to start on the first day after the local election and end after the full political regulation (local elections in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts based on the law of Ukraine and Constitutional reform) by the end of 2015, on the condition of fulfilment of Point 11 – in consultations and in agreement with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

• Pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and also mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under OSCE supervision. Disarmament of all illegal groups.

• Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with the new Constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts), and also approval of permanent legislation on special status of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in accordance with the measures spelt out in the footnotes, by the end of 2015.

Just a couple of comments:
1) One seeks in vain for ANY obligation that falls to Russia.
2) As far as I can see none of the points of the agreement are actually in force.
3) The Ukrainians have made it clear that they can not and will not implement their action points. This is consistent with objective fact - they have done nothing.
4) It has been clear that the LPR/DPR had been doing what they could, given their inability to arrange to negotiate any points with the Kiev administration. It seems that, in practice, they have as a matter of self preservation deceased their level of commitment to the process whilst making it clear they are willing to proceed in cooperation with Kiev.


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