20.02.2015 | 14:09
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution № 2202 on February 17.
The Council called on all parties to fully implement the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” adopted on 12 February 2015 in Minsk, Belarus. Firmly convinced that the resolution on the situation in eastern regions of Ukraine could only be achieved through a peaceful settlement to the current crisis, the Council welcomed the declaration by the heads of state of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, France and Germany in support of the “Package of measures” and their continuing commitment to implement the agreements.
The “Package of measures”, contained in Annex I of the resolution, called for a number of actions. Those included an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and its strict implementation as of 15 February 2015.
It’s very important that the resolution endorses the “Package of measures” and welcomes the “Declaration of presidents”. This is an important achievement of Russia, the author of the document.
These are the main provisions of the Package:
1) Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and its strict implementation as of 15 February 2015;
2) Creation of a security zone to separate the belligerents;
3) Establishment of minimum security zone for each type of weapons; 1
4) Withdrawal of heavy weapons away from the security zone 2 to be implemented in 14 days;
5) Ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the OSCE;
6) Launch talks (the text says – a dialogue), on day 1 of the withdrawal, on modalities of local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine; 3
7) Adopt promptly, by no later than 30 days after the date of signing of this document a resolution of the parliament of Ukraine specifying the area enjoying a special regime under the Law of Ukraine “On interim self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, based on the line of the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014”;
8) Ensure pardon and amnesty; 4
9) Ensure release and exchange of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons based on the principle “all for all”; 5
10) Ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in need, on the basis of an international mechanism;
11) Definition of modalities of full resumption of socio-economic ties: 6
12) Reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine throughout the conflict area; 7
13) Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under monitoring of the OSCE;
14) Disarmament of all illegal groups;
15) Carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine; 8
The plan was duly submitted as an international legal instrument to be approved by the main body responsible for international peace and security. The international part is very significant. Actually every provision presupposes international monitoring – from withdrawal of foreign armed formations to restoration of banking system and holding elections. The bodies responsible for the implementation of international part of the Minsk accords are the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Trilateral Contact Group. 9
The mission is not easy to accomplish. The international involvement into the Ukrainian armed conflict has greatly intensified. President Putin has already made a statement on US arms supplies to Ukraine. There is information to confirm the fact that other countries are involved too. The scandal related to the arms supplies to Ukraine from the Czech Republic is in full swing. 10 According to some sources, the plans on arms supplies to Ukraine from Bosnia and Herzegovina are underway. 11 Croats take part in combat actions on the side of Kiev. 12
As I have written before, the inclusion of the Package and the Declaration into the text of the Resolution is not just a technical thing, it’s a matter of great significance. The draft resolution was submitted to the United Nations Security Council members as early as on Sunday, February 15, to be adopted immediately, but there was a delay to put off the endorsement till Wednesday, February 17. Vitaly Churkin, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, said a number of delegations tried to emphasize some provisions of the document at the expense of others. Under the circumstances, the inclusion of original texts of the documents into the Resolution 2202 was an effective diplomatic move which evoked obvious resentment of the part of Ukraine. It was clearly seen during the session devoted to the debates on the draft resolution, as well as afterwards. At the session Yury Sergeev, the Permanent Representative of Ukraineto the United Nations, did his best to shift the blame for the conflict on Russia.
Actually right after the signing and publication of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution № 2202 Ukraine tried to tear up the agreements by asking for deployment of United Nations forces on its territory.
On February 19, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine approved the decision to ask the United Nations and the European Union to deploy a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine to ensure peace and security. Later in the day, Oleksandr Turchynov, the National Security and Defense Council’s secretary, said „It was decided to ask the United Nations and the European Union to stage a peacekeeping operation in Ukraine.“The decision dovetails with the common position of Ukraine’s upper circles of power. It is confirmed by the words of Turchinov who said the Ukrainian foreign ministry had already prepared a relevant request. He also expressed hope that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine would support this move. 13
These “initiatives” are in direct violation of Minsk agreements which envision the creation of people’s militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics while the OSCE is responsible for separating the sides.
The adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution № 2202 should be considered as an element of diplomatic and international legal peacemaking operation launched by German Chancellor and French President when they visited Moscow on February 12. There is ground to believe that in reality this operation started in December 2014 when French President Francois Hollande paid a flash-like visit to Moscow with President Vladimir Putin to meet him in the airport. Perhaps the peacemaking operation was forcibly stopped by those who perpetrated the terrorist act against the French weekly Charlie Ebdo. No matter that, the operation is underway.
1Pull-out of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of creation of a security zone on minimum 50 km (31 mi) apart for artillery of 100mm calibre or more, a security zone of 70 km (43 mi) for MRL and 140 km (87 mi) for MRLs Tornado-S, Uragan, Smerch and Tochca (Tochka U) tactical missile systems.
2The pull-out is to take place:
- for Ukrainian forces, from actual line of contact and
- for armed formations of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, from the contact line in accordance with the Minsk Memorandum as of 19 September 2014.
3Based on the Law of Ukraine „On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts“, questions related to local elections will be discussed and agreed upon with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.
4Pardon and amnesty are to be provided by way of enacting a law that forbids persecution and punishment of persons in relation to events that took place in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine.
5The process of release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons, based on the principle of „all for all“ has to end – at the latest – on the fifth day after the pullout (of weapons).
6The modalities of a full restoration of social and economic connections first of all include social transfers, such as payments of pensions and other payments (income and revenue, timely payment of communal bills, restoration of tax payments within the framework of Ukrainian legal field). With this aim, Ukraine will restore management over the segment of its banking system in the districts affected by the conflict, and possibly, an international mechanism will be established to ease such transactions.
7The process of restoring control of the state border to the Ukrainian government in the whole conflict zone has to start on the first day after the local election and end after the full political regulation (local elections in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts based on the law of Ukraine and Constitutional reform) by the end of 2015, on the condition of fulfilment of Point 11 – in consultations and in agreement with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.
8Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with a new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts), and also approval of permanent legislation on the special status of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in accordance with the measures, is to include: freedom from punishment, harassment, and discrimination of persons connected with the events that took place in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk, right of language self-determination, participation of local self-government in the appointment of the heads of prosecutors‘ offices and courts in the particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk etc.
9The group’s composition includes the representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, former President of Ukraine and Ukrainian representative Leonid Kuchma,
Russian Ambassador to Ukraine and Russian representative Mikhail Zurabov and Swiss diplomat and OSCE representative Heidi Tagliavini.
11Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on possible Bosnian-Herzegovinian ammunition supplies to Ukraine:http://www.mid.ru/bdomp//brp_4.nsf/english/2CF987BE4BC4160D43257DDC003D4E1
12Comment by the Foreign Ministry on the involvement of Croatian mercenaries in hostilities in Ukraine: http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/39F616D026A1B0B743257DEA004B72E6