Donetsk, Aug 2 - DAN. Ukrainian representatives at the Contact Group economic subgroup talks in Minsk on Wednesday refused to discuss streamlining the pension payment procedure for Donbass residents, said Viktoria Talakina, spokeswoman for DPR envoy to Minsk talks Denis Pushilin.

“Ukraine was not ready to discuss streamlining the pension payment procedure for Donbass residents or changing the status of ‘temporarily displaced person’,” Talakina said.

The negotiators were able to discuss water supply problems and related payments though, she said. The issues concerning arrangements for an expert conference addressing Donbass companies’ environmental risks were raised as well.

Ukrainian authorities halted pension payments in the region on 15 November 2014. Under Article 8 of the Package of Measures, Kiev pledged to reconsider the decision in 2015, yet it froze payments to refugees although the move was at variance with Ukraine’s Constitution.

DPR repeatedly stated that Ukraine had to meet its social commitments to Donbass residents, as it had been making deductions from their wages to Ukraine’s Pension Fund and Social Insurance Fund for years.

In June 2016, Kiev introduced stricter pension payment rules for Donbass residents. To meet the formalities, a Donbass resident has to cross the contact line every two months and present a large package of certificates and documents to Ukrainian officials, including a displaced person certificate which can only be obtained through registration of new place of residence in Ukrainian territory.*jk