The meeting of the humanitarian group ended with zero result. The responsibility for this lies with the Ukrainian side, whose negotiators disrupted the discussion of all issues on the agenda. Moreover, they did it on a provocative manner with the clear intention.
Ukraine showed particular non-diplomatic approach when discussing the topic of an exchange of detained persons. It should be reminded that in order to make progress on this issue, the Ukrainian side must fully fulfill its obligations on the procedural “cleansing” of 50 citizens transferred to the DPR in 2019-2020. Today we expected that Kiev will finally provide information on the work, which it has done in this direction. However, unfortunately, no data was announced, and the Ukrainian negotiators demonstratively avoided answering questions on the topic.
I emphasize that such a position of the Ukrainian side can only be regarded as a deliberate sabotage of the further exchange process. Another fact that Kiev is not interested in resuming a constructive dialogue is evidenced by another fact, namely, this year the Ukrainian side did not even give us its list of wanted persons. It turns out that Ukraine is either not looking for anyone in the DPR, or creating new political intrigues, playing with the fate of its own citizens.
There was no constructiveness even when discussing the peculiarities of the operation of checkpoints. The representatives of Ukraine could not clearly explain why Kiev has been blocking the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the DPR through the “Novotroitskoye-Elenovka” checkpoint for more than a month. It should be reminded that earlier the Ukrainian side motivated its actions by problems with security in the area of the village of Elenovka. However, Ukraine does not interfere with the passing of the civilian population through the indicated checkpoint. Negotiators were also unable to comment on why Kiev considers this territory to be dangerous for humanitarian convoys, but safe for people.
After today’s round of negotiations, there is no doubt that Ukraine has benefits from the complete blockade of Donbass. And the Ukrainian authorities are trying to use the humanitarian problems of the local population as a tool to satisfy unhealthy political ambitions.
Since the Ukrainian side blocked the consideration of key issues of the humanitarian block of the working group, the OSCE coordinator announced the decision to bring the discussion on them to the level of the Contact Group.