Donetsk, Dec 16 - DAN. The Donetsk People’s Republic has rejected Kiev’s proposal to hold extraordinary Contact Group talks on December 17 seeing no solid reasons for a meeting, DPR representative at the Minsk talks, the Republic's Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said on Thursday.
“Yesterday, Contact Group coordinator Mr (Mikko) Kinnunen sent all the participants a new version of the Contact Group statement submitted by Ukraine with the proposal to convene an extraordinary meeting on Friday, December 17,” Nikonorova said. “Having carefully examined the document, we have to state that the text has no novelties: the “new” version does not differ in essence from the key, principled issues embedded in our original proposals.”
The main stumbling block is direct interaction with Ukraine for quick prevention of ceasefire violations using the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination in its current membership. Having rejected this idea which initially had been coordinated with Kiev, its representatives brought forward an unviable and unrealistic proposal to reshuffle the JCCC within a day by admitting representatives of the OSCE and the “Normandy Four” in the person of France, Germany and Russia, who will also perform the function of arbitrator for “verification” of ceasefire violations, she said.
Kiev cannot offer arguments to the justified question that such a “reform” fully neutralizes the JCCC’s priority, i.e. direct interaction between the warring sides in the field for quick stopping of ceasefire violations and preventing new ones.
“It’s perfectly obvious that all these new initiatives have already been discussed at the extraordinary session of the Contact Group. In the light of Ukraine’s current position, we are confident that it makes no sense to hold a meeting for the sake of a meeting and quench Kiev’s thirst for creating effects of vigorous activity,” Nikonorova said adding that Donetsk was still waiting for more realistic problem solving proposals from Kiev.
Earlier, she said that Donetsk was ready to immediately scrutinize the Ukrainian version of the document on the coordination mechanism, which Kiev representatives had promised to prepare.*jk