US chargé d’affaires a.i. for Ukraine William Taylor yesterday made a statement, which, mildly speaking, gives us a cause for concern. It was related to the upcoming withdrawal of forces and armaments in the area near Petrovskoye. The American diplomat highlighted the importance of this process before the upcoming meeting of the leaders of the Normandy format countries and noted that after the military left the aforementioned zone, the Ukrainian police and the National Guard would be able to enter it freely.

Such an unprofessional, negligent approach of the American representative to this matter is unacceptable, since it can mislead some of the Ukrainian officials. I would like to remind the diplomat from the United States that according to the Contact Group’s Framework Decision on the withdrawal of forces and armaments, armed formations cannot be stationed in disengagement areas under any circumstances. Only officers of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination can be there. This is the only exception.

Unfortunately, we have again confronted a contradictory and distorted interpretation of the Framework Decision on the part of the West.

I responsibly declare that in the event of a situation in which representatives of the Ukrainian police and the National Guard appeared in disengagement areas, representatives of law enforcement agencies of the Republic, namely the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, would also be present symmetrically and simultaneously in these territories. And the disengagement process in other areas would become unrealizable.

Denis Pushilin
Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic