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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

11.09.2015

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, September 10, 2015

Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundegiyn Purevsuren’s working visit to Russia.

Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundegiyn Purevsuren will pay a working visit to Russia on September 10-12. During the visit, talks will take place between the two countries’ foreign ministers. They are expected to address the status and prospects for the further development of Russia-Mongolia relations in the context of the agreements reached at the top level during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Ulan Bator in September 2014 and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj’s visit to Moscow in May. The ministers will also consider the most topical regional and global issues and key aspects of Russia-Mongolia interaction in various international and regional formats.

The visit programme includes Mr Purevsuren’s consultations with Sergey Donskoy, chairman of the Russian section of the Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and minister of natural resources and the environment, and Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachyov, to discuss the development of Russia-Mongolia cooperation on the practical level.

Joint meeting of CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers, Council of Defence Ministers, and Committee of Security Council Secretaries

On September 15, 2015, a joint session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Council of Defence Ministers, and Committee of Security Council Secretaries of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) will take place in Dushanbe as part of the preparations for the upcoming session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, which will be attended by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Participants will discuss ways of upgrading the collective security system and developing military cooperation and allied interaction in the organisation’s framework.

As the CSTO presidency passes from the Republic of Tajikistan to the Republic of Armenia, special consideration will be given to the priorities of Armenia’s CSTO presidency.

A draft statement by the heads of state, as well as a number of documents prepared for the CSTO Collective Security Council session, will be considered.

Participants will also address organisational, administrative and financial aspects of the organisation’s activity.

The situation in Ukraine

The ceasefire, which is generally holding now, is an important step towards the de-escalation of the situation in southeastern Ukraine. Over the past two weeks, the situation in Donbass, where residential areas came under regular shelling attacks until only recently, remains relatively calm. This is confirmed by the Russian and Ukrainian representatives of the Joint Coordination and Control Centre (JCCC) and OSCE observers.

The signing of an addendum to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of December 12, 2015, related to the withdrawal of tanks, mortars of a 120-mm caliber and lower, and artillery systems of a 100-mm caliber and lower, as well as an appendix on verification measures, would help further ease tensions in the region and create prerequisites for a real, long-term truce.

Unfortunately, at its September 8 meeting in Minsk, the Contact Group failed to do so. We hope that the ongoing efforts within the framework of the relevant subgroup will be capped with success and the said documents will be signed by all participants in the Minsk talks.

Unfortunately, at this stage, we have been unable to record positive changes regarding the lifting of the financial and economic blockade of Donbass. Just the contrary, it is only tightening, leading to the further degradation of the humanitarian situation there. This is also recognised by the Kiev office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). At a recent briefing in the Ukrainian capital, its head, Barbara Manzi, said that there was a visible shortage of foodstuffs and medications in the southeast of the country, noting that the people in the region were in a miserable state and on the brink of survival.

Meanwhile, UN experts point out that Kiev lacks the political will to overcome the consequences of the severe humanitarian crisis in Donbass and note its reluctance to help its own citizens who desperately need emergency assistance.

Such a policy pursued by the Ukrainian authorities, which ignores the legitimate rights and demands of the Donbass people and rejects direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, will only lead to the region’s further insulation. The establishment of a direct dialogue is key to peace and stability in southeastern Ukraine. This is related primarily to the fundamental provisions that are unambiguously recorded in the Package of Measures as being subject to coordination with the Donetsk and Lugansk representatives. These include the establishment of Donbass’s permanent legal status, defining the procedure for holding local elections in these territories and taking the interests of the southeast into account on a constitutional level.

In this context, we would also like to remind you that in February, representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk agreed in Minsk not only on a ceasefire but also on a “postwar” stage, if I may say so, in the development of Donbass.

In particular, the Minsk Agreements reaffirm the need to take measures to ensure the region’s economic revival and improve the humanitarian situation there. Right now, ahead of the upcoming winter season, it is critical to address the most pressing problems related to the provision of civilians in southeastern Ukraine with first necessities – water, electricity, food, medical assistance and communications.




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