A number of MPs of the pro-presidential Servant of the People party have published an appeal to the president of Ukraine on behalf of their party members in connection with the recent Minsk talks on Donbas.
In particular, this concerns the talks on the possibility of resuming water supply to Russia-annexed Crimea, statements about an “internal conflict” in eastern Ukraine, and the decision approved by the Ukrainian representatives in the Minsk trilateral contact group on Donbas to create an Advisory Council as part of the political subgroup.
The text of the appeal was published on Facebook MPs Geo Leros , Yehor Chernev, Anastasiya Krasnosilska, Mykyta Poturayev, Dmytro Hurin and Vitaliy Bezgin.
“We are alarmed by the fact that representatives of Ukraine and certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine will join the Advisory Council on equal terms as parties to consultations. In this regard, we consider it appropriate to declare that in accordance with the provisions of the 2018 law ‘On the peculiarities of state policy on ensuring the state sovereignty of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions’, the Russian Federation temporarily occupies Donetsk and Luhansk regions," the statement reads.
It is noted that in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, the occupying authorities of Russia are acting on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, having usurped the exercise of power. Therefore, the laws of Ukraine make it impossible to recognize any government bodies of the so-called LPR [Luhansk People’s Republic], DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic], ORDLO [certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions] in any form.
"All negotiations regarding the protection of the rights and interests of citizens of Ukraine, as well as the end of armed aggression, must be conducted exclusively with Russia and its representatives. The legitimacy of representatives of the so-called ORDLO can only be recognized if they are appointed by the legal representatives of Ukraine or the legal authorities of our state," the MPs said.
The appeal says that the MPs are aware that the Advisory Council being created is only an advisory body without the right to make decisions.
"At the same time, in our opinion, the implementation in practice of the clause on the Advisory Council published by the Ukrainian media lays the foundation for questioning the position of our state, enshrined in Ukrainian legislation, that armed aggression is being carried out in eastern Ukraine by the Russian Federation which has temporarily occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol and territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the statement reads.
It is noted that such an approach may call into question the extension of sanctions against Russia and does not solve the security component in the conflict in Donbas.
The MPs called on Zelenskyy to prevent the implementation of the published decisions on the establishment of an Advisory Council in ways and forms that do not find support from Ukraine, contradict its legislation and state interests.
“We also urge the president of Ukraine to oblige the Ukrainian delegation to negotiations with Russia to hold consultations on a regular basis and inform the Ukrainian parliament about the approaches and state of negotiations,” they added.
On 11 March, the Minsk trilateral contact group on a Donbas settlement agreed to create a so-called Advisory Council as part of the political subgroup.
The Advisory Council is expected to include 10 representatives from Ukraine and 10 from the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as one representative with a deliberative vote from the OSCE, Russia, Germany and France.