Russia demands changes to bill on special status for Donbas – Kazansky
The Russian side in the Trilateral Contact Group for the Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions (TCG) is delaying the negotiation process and demanding that the preamble be removed from the bill on a special status for Donbas, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG, journalist Denys Kazansky, has said.
“During the discussion of the law on the special status of Donbas, it was again impossible to reach a consensus with the Russian side even on the preamble, not to mention other principled articles on which it is hardly possible to reach an agreement. […] The Russians demand that the preamble be reduced and that a mention of the return and reintegration of IDPs be removed from it,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday, July 9.
According to him, the Russian side demands that a specific fragment be removed from the document: “In order to create conditions for the speedy normalization of the situation, the restoration of law and order, constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, the creation of conditions for bringing residents back to the places of permanent residence that they were forced to leave, their reintegration, as well as for the restoration of life in settlements in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the development of territories.”
“That is, Russia and its militants almost directly demand the deletion of 1.5 million people who left [Donbas]. It is clear why they do so. They are afraid of our very existence, because we spoil their propaganda picture. They are afraid of the return of pro-Ukrainian population that did not recognize any ‘LPR/DPR’ from the very beginning,” the journalist said.
Kazansky also said that he had proposed adding an additional article to the law on compensation for IDPs who lost their property and housing in occupied Donbas: “Of course, those who participated in these seizures and did damage to law-abiding citizens have to pay this [compensation]. We will discuss this issue in the near future.”
In addition, he said it became obvious after several TCG meetings that “it is the Russian side that is slowing down and driving this process into a dead end.”
“Russia and its satellites do not accept and block virtually all proposals put forward by Ukraine,” he added.
A regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE) took place on July 8. It was typically held via video conference.