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OSCE And Kiev Refuse Russian Request To Record Trilateral Contact Group Meetings, Why?

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OSCE And Kiev Refuse Russian Request To Record Trilateral Contact Group Meetings, Why?

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Boris Gryzlov, the representative of Russia in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), believes that the statements of the Ukrainian authorities about plans to return Eastern Ukraine on their own terms indicate the actual termination of Kiev’s implementation of the Minsk agreements.

This was reported by RIA Novosti.

In particular, Gryzlov drew attention to the phrase on the website of the President of Ukraine:

“The main goal of our delegation, like the entire state, is to return all temporarily occupied territories exclusively on Ukrainian terms.”

This statement fundamentally contradicts the very basis of the Minsk agreements, Gryzlov said.

“Of course, such a position is legally null and void, but its political consequences are catastrophic,” the Russian representative said.

Kiev must return to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, he added.

According to him, it is the Ukrainian side that “slows down any agreements”, despite Kiev’s attempts to appropriate the ceasefire achievements.

In mid-July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need to decipher each clause of the Minsk agreements in order to understand which of them can be implemented.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine is fulfilling its part of the Minsk agreements, and “the whole world sees it.” He also pointed out the need for the “other side” to demonstrate willingness to comply with the agreement.

The Chairperson of the OSCE in Ukraine and the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbass, Heidi Grau, was forced to suspend the TCG meeting on September 30th due to Russia’s violation of the confidentiality regime.

This was reported by “Interfax-Ukraine” with reference to a source close to the negotiation process.

According to her, the Russian side announced that it would conduct audio and video recording of the negotiations, which had not been agreed in advance, in addition, the head of the delegation said that Moscow intends to unilaterally publish the recordings.

Grau suggested taking a break in the group’s work to develop a common code of conduct and information policy for all negotiators. The position of the OSCE representative was supported by the Ukrainian delegation.

Unironically, Kiev emphasized that “no one has the right to violate the principles of the TCG’s activities, single-handedly carrying out actions that contradict the agreements reached and the international practice of negotiations.”

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, said that Kiev was trying to interpret the Minsk agreements in its own way and was selectively approaching the fulfillment of its obligations under the Normandy format.

This is quite evident of that, and the OSCE appears to also be following a somewhat similar agenda to Kiev’s.

Notably, Kiev is likely the biggest enemy of recording the conversations, and the OSCE is playing a sort of wing-man in the situation. Since it is likely that Russia would like to record it to prove that Ukraine’s government’s wording is showing of the fact that it’s undermining the peace process.

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