The Road to Peace in Ukraine: after the “Normandy” summit
On Monday, December 9, leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany took part in the “Normandy” summit in Paris. The eyes of the global Ukrainian community have been fixed on this meeting, and the society has been actively engaged in determining the demands of the agenda. The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has been supporting this peace process with a series of campaigns #StandwithUkraine #StopRussianAggression , and most recently held rallies and meetings in support of Ukraine in Paris under the leadership of Paul Grod, UWC President.
According to the common agreed conclusions of the summit, the key outcomes included, in particular, the following measures to stabilize the situation on the frontline of the Russian war against Ukraine:
- a full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire before the end of the year 2019;
- development and implementation of an updated demining plan;
- three additional disengagement areas, with the aim of disengaging forces and equipment by the end of March 2020;
- release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year, based on the principle of “all for all”, starting with “all identified for all identified”;
- agreement within the Trilateral Contact Group, within 30 days, on new crossing points along the line of contact, based primarily on humanitarian criteria;
safe and secure access throughout Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) in order to fully implement its mandate.
The parties also agreed to a series of measures to implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreements, including the need to incorporate the “Steinmeier formula” into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the “Normandy format” and the Trilateral Contact Group, as well as expressed interest in agreeing on the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions
The leaders agreed to hold the next summit in four months. In the meantime, the diplomats and political advisors will be working to implement these agreements.
The “Normandy format” meeting in December became the next step in the peace talks. UWC supports the President of Ukraine on the road to peace and is urging President Zelenskyy to do this within the “red lines” and while maintaining the Ukrainian position. At the same time, UWC is once again emphasizing the importance of preserving the international coalition for support of Ukraine and countering Russian aggression. The UWC calls on the global community to maintain a clear and unequivocal position that:
1) No elections can take place in the Russian-occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts until all Russian troops, mercenaries, weapons and materiel are withdrawn from Ukrainian territory, Ukraine regains complete control of the Ukrainian side of the Ukraine-Russia border, a reasonable normalization period will allow for the reestablishment of democratic institutions and the displaced residents of the Donbas region are allowed to peacefully return to their homes.
2) Ukraine’s strategic course for Euro-Atlantic and NATO integration, as set out in Ukraine’s Constitution, is non-negotiable and immutable.
3) International sanctions on Russia must continue to be strengthened and expanded until Russia de-occupies the sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
4) There can be no negotiations with the leaders of the Russia-controlled terrorist organizations of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR).
5) Russia bears full responsibility for rebuilding war-torn Ukraine and paying reparations to all affected by their war against Ukraine and downing of Malaysian airliner MH17.
“If Russia really wanted peace, there would not be any war. We are concerned by the fact that the participants of the meeting, France and Germany, did not admit the fact of Russia’s responsibility for the military aggression in Donbas and occupation of Crimea. UWC would like to remind the world that Russia is an aggressor state, and as such must bear responsibility for implementing the agreements of the peace negotiations. UWC once again reiterates that there should not be any direct negotiations of Ukraine with the representatives of the terrorist organizations “LNR” & “DNR”. We also underline the need to strengthen the international sanctions until Russia de-occupies sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Peace in Ukraine is an important prerequisite for peace and security in Europe, and security decisions must come before the political agreements.
UWC will continue the global campaign to #StandwithUkraine #StopRussianAggression ,that we announced before the summit in Paris. We call on all Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine to support the next steps towards peace, and we call on the international community to admit the responsibility of Russia as an aggressor” – stated Paul Grod, UWC President.