by Scott Humor
On December 11th, the head of the DPR Denis Pushilin accused Kiev of falsifying the text of the communique of the “Normandy summit.” in his opinion, the Ukrainian authorities “have reached the extreme degree of lies.” A distorted version appeared on the website of the Ukrainian President, and one of the key elements of the agreement was changed — the need to take into account all aspects of the special status of Donbass was reduced to the “law on special status” only.
Kiev published an incorrect text of the communique “Normandy summit,” held in Paris on December 9, said the head of the self-proclaimed DNR Denis Pushilin.
On the website of the President of Ukraine posted a distorted version of the document, the politician writes, representatives of the “Normandy four” agreed to discuss all legal aspects of the special status of Donbass, but Kiev in the falsified Ukrainian language version sounded in a way that gave an impression that the issues were narrowed down to only the Law on Special Status.
“The authorities of Kiev have reached an extreme degree of lies,” — said Pushilin, and posted on his official website the screenshot of the offensive statement. The legal aspects should include a set of laws and agreements including Amnesty and local elections, and also an introduction of appropriate amendments to the Constitution.
“Until the correct text agreed by the Normany Four leaders appears on all versions of the official website of the Ukrainian President, we will not implement the decisions of the summit,” Pushilin announced.
It should be noted that Kiev hastily corrected the Ukrainian version of the communique. Currently, the agreed text of the communique is posted on all versions of the website – Ukrainian, Russian and English.
The distortion of the final communique by Kiev was noticed not only in DNR, but also in Ukraine. The Opposition platform For Life party accused the Kiev authorities in falsifying the translation of the text of the final document.
“The office of the President falsified in the translation of the communique, following the meeting in Paris, the most important aspect of the agreements reached by the heads of states,” the press service of the party said.
The opinion in Russia was that Kiev tried to pretend that it was only a question of extending for a year of the Law on a Special Status of the Donbas republics. According to Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov, without the inclusion of a special status of Donbass in the Constitution of Ukraine, it can be canceled at any time.
The full English version of the Communique is here:
Paris "Normandie" summit - Common agreed conclusions 9 décembre 2019 - Déclaration Télécharger Paris "Normandie" summit - Common agreed conclusions - PDF 148 Ko The President of the French Republic, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the Russian Federation and the President of Ukraine met in Paris today. The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation. They underline their shared aspiration to a sustainable and comprehensive architecture of trust and security in Europe, based on the OSCE principles, for which the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine is one of several important steps. On this basis, they decide on the following: 1. Immediate measures to stabilize the situation in the conflict area The sides commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire, strengthened by the implementation of all necessary ceasefire support measures, before the end of the year 2019. They will support the development and implementation of an updated demining plan, on the basis of the decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on demining activities, dated March 3, 2016. They will support an agreement within the Trilateral Contact Group on three additional disengagement areas, with the aim of disengaging forces and equipment by the end of March 2020. They encourage the Trilateral Contact Group to facilitate the release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year, based on the principle of “all for all”, starting with “all identified for all identified”, with the understanding that international organisations including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) be granted full and unconditional access to all detained persons. They will support an agreement within the Trilateral Contact Group, within 30 days, on new crossing points along the line of contact, based primarily on humanitarian criteria. They recall that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) should be able to use all possibilities of the 21 March 2014 mandate, and have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine in order to fully implement its mandate. 2. Measures to implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreements The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government - special status - of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions - as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 - in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis. They consider it necessary to incorporate the “Steinmeier formula” into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group. 3. Follow up They ask their Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Political Advisors to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached and they agree to have another meeting in this format within four months on the political and security conditions, inter alia for the organization of the local elections.
The way the communique was translated into Ukrainian
2. Measures to implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreements
The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the the Law of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis.
After the Communique translation was corrected, Dmitry Peskov said that “The form in which the Ukrainian side publishes the final document of the “Normandy summit” communique is not important. There is a reference text in English.”
On December 15th, the Press Secretary of the President Putin Dmitry Peskov in his interview to the Channel 1 program “the Big Game” said that at the beginning of Normandy Four format negotiations of the leaders of Russia, France and Germany, Kiev attempted to edit the document that was drafted and agreed upon in advance.
“It was very hard work for six to seven hours. I think this should be told, nothing terrible would happen. The fact is that Paris was preceded by a fairly strenuous work of presidential aides who worked on the text in order for this text of the Paris agreements to be adopted. The Ukrainian side began the meeting with the demands to edit some points of these agreements, that is, to edit what has already been agreed by aides, including the representative of Ukraine, ” Peskov said.
On Monday, December 16, the Verkhovna Rada published a bill on decentralization of power, which was submitted to the Parliament by Zelenski. In the text of the document published on the official website the special status of Donbass, directed by the Minsk Accord, was absent.
According to the explanatory note, the bill proposes to change the administrative and territorial structure of the country and the introduction of the post of a Prefect, to represent the Kiev authorities in the districts and regions, as well as in Kiev. These people will actually replace the existing governors, but their term of office will not exceed three years.
The document does not mention anything about the special status of Donbass. At the same time, it introduces a separate legal status for Kiev.