18:08 16.03.2021

Work of TCG political subgroup suspended until issue of removal of 'public experts' from ORDLO resolved – Harmash

3 min read
Work of TCG political subgroup suspended until issue of removal of 'public experts' from ORDLO resolved – Harmash

Representatives of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on resolving the situation in Donbss asked for a break in the meetings of the subgroup on political issues until the issue of removing "public experts", self-connecting to negotiations, from the occupied territories is resolved, representative of certain districts of Donetsk region in the TCG Serhiy Harmash said.

"OSCE moderator Ambassador Morel announced a break at the request of the Ukrainian side. There was no demarche, just Ukraine, in full accordance with the Minsk Agreements, asked the OSCE to remove from the group the 'expert' Maia Pyrohova, invited from Donetsk by the Russian side. This citizen in Ukraine was sentenced for terrorism to ten years and put on the wanted list. Such participants delegitimize the negotiations, which, in fact, render them meaningless," Harmash said.

He added that "Ukraine asked for a break until the issue of removing 'public experts' is settled by the TCG itself, which, according to OSCE representative Morel, is responsible for such problems."

Harmash noted that "the Ukrainian side did not disrupt the meetings of the subgroup on political issues, as opponents are trying to present it." He hopes that tomorrow at the TCG meeting at the level of heads of delegations, head of the Ukrainian delegation Leonid Kravchuk, will raise this issue, since the participation of those invited from Luhansk by Russia, to which the Ukrainian side did not give its consent, has remained relevant since the beginning of the year.

"Unfortunately, the very fact of participation in the negotiations of people who do not represent any of the TCG members is still out of scope, although Paragraph 13 of the Minsk set of measures clearly states that the working groups reflect the composition of the TCG. Moreover, Ambassador Morel justifies their participation by 'well-established practice', which has become established, because [according to Ambassador Morel] 'Kravchuk has been silent at the TCG for a month and a half'. He [Ambassador Morel] even expressed the hope that tomorrow at the TCG meeting 'there will finally be a reaction from Ukraine'. Morel does not understand what claims may be against him, if Ukraine itself is not actively raising these issues at the TCG," Harmash said.

"In fact, Kravchuk is not silent, but it is true that he does not aggressively demand either – apparently this is what the OSCE considers as a rather active formulation of the issue to respond to it," the representative to the TCG said.

According to Harmash, a novelty in the negotiations was that if earlier the OSCE used former NSDC Secretary Horbulin as an excuse for the questions of the Ukrainian side, who allegedly introduced the practice of not being interested in the status of the negotiators, "now Kravchuk has also been announced as the 'father' of violations of a Trilateral Minsk format."

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