Donetsk, Sep 19 - DAN. The Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 spelled out the first moves to restore peace in Donbass confirming Kiev’s formal readiness for dialogue with the Republics, but Ukrainian side has been unable to prove its commitment to the peace process since, acting DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova told Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.

“Signed three years ago, the Memorandum on the Implementation of the Provisions of the Protocol on the Outcome of Consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk spelled out the first steps towards restoring peace in Donbass,” Nikonorova said. “The document confirmed Ukraine’s formal readiness to engage in direct dialogue with us. Over time however, we’ve been increasingly doubtful of Ukraine’ s intentions to resolve the conflict peacefully.”

The recent refusal to work on the text of the Russia-proposed resolution on deploying UN peacekeepers in the region to ensure the safety of OSCE monitors is clear evidence of Ukraine’s neglecting its international commitments and the future of Donbass residents.

“Ukrainian representatives therefore showed that they did not care about peace in Donbass and that Kiev was only interested in the use-of-force scenario. The stepping up of military exercises in Ukraine involving NATO, and Petr Poroshenko’s genuine happiness over the U.S. Senate’s allocation of lethal weapons and 500 million dollars worth of military aid to Ukraine confirms our concerns,” the diplomat said.

The Agreements dated 5 and 19 September 2014 and 12 February 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict.

The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

The Package of Measures provided for immediate comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass starting 15 February 2015, withdrawal of heavy weapons, establishment of security zones, discussion of the modalities for the resumption of payment of pensions and allowances to DPR and LPR citizens, and constitutional reform in Ukraine leading to deep decentralisation.*jk