In 2014–2015, the Minsk agreements were adopted. The text fixed the main measures to resolve the situation in the Donbass. The content of the document, who signed it and how it was executed – in the material of RBC
Who adopted the Minsk agreements and when
- The Minsk agreements were concluded by a tripartite contact group to resolve the situation in Donbass. It included representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE.
- On September 5 and 19, 2014, a protocol and a memorandum were signed, these were the first documents.
- On February 12, 2015, a 13-point Set of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements (Minsk-2) was signed, in general, it coincided with the September agreements.
Acceptance of “Minsk-2” happened after the fighting between the militias of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR with the Ukrainian army, which ended with the occupation of the Debaltseve region by the militias. A meeting in the Normandy format was then held in Minsk (with the participation of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany). The document was signed by the same contact group, and the leaders of the four countries supported it with their declaration.
What measures did the Minsk agreements consolidate. Summary
- The parties pledged to cease fire and withdraw their detachments from the line of contact.
- It was strictly forbidden to have heavy weapons in the area of the buffer zone. Systems «Hurricane», «Smerch» “Point” should have been taken 70 km away.
- OSCE observers were supposed to monitor the implementation of these rules.
- In addition to the exchange of prisoners on the principle of “all for all” it was also about the amnesty of the participants in the clashes, the restoration of economic ties.
- The Ukrainian side was supposed to adopt the Law on the special status of certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and hold local elections there, taking into account the position of representatives of the DPR and LPR. The day after the elections, Ukraine was supposed to take full control of the state border.
- Another condition was the implementation of a reform in Ukraine, which included the introduction of the concept of decentralization into the Constitution of the country, taking into account the peculiarities of “certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.
Read the full text of the Minsk agreements
How the Minsk agreements were implemented
In fact, for 7 years, after long negotiations, the parties only managed to achieve the exchange of forcibly held persons (in fact, prisoners). The DPR and LPR, as well as the Russian Foreign Ministry, have repeatedly accused Kiev of illegally occupying settlements in the buffer zone and the appearance of heavy equipment there.
Participants in the events of 2014-2015 were not amnestied. And although the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the special status of Donbass in 2015, it linked its entry into force with the holding of local elections. At the same time, Kiev insisted that they must first restore control over the border, and only then hold elections. Moscow categorically disagreed with this.
In 2019, the members of the Contact Group adopted the so-called “Steinmeier formula”; (named after its author, German Foreign Minister Frank Steinmeier), according to which the special status law was to come into force after local elections in Donetsk and Luhansk regions were recognized as meeting OSCE standards. In addition, it was supposed to again withdraw the armed formations to their previous positions. The adoption of this amendment caused dissatisfaction with the opposition in Kiev. The parties failed to agree on the procedure for holding elections.