Russia to propose changes to Donbas ceasefire agreement after Zakharchenko’s death

Russia will propose changes to the ceasefire agreement in the Donbas after the assassination of the head of the unrecognized Donetsk People’s, Republic Alexander Zakharchenko, stated Boris Gryzlov, the Russian plenipotentiary in the Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, TASS reported.

He said that a package of additional measures to the agreement was discussed at the meeting of the Contact Group on September 19. “These measures, which include a ban on any sabotage activities, were prepared by the security subgroup on the initiative of Donetsk People’s Republic after the terrorist attack on August 31, which resulted in the death of Alexander Zakharchenko,” explained Gryzlov.

According to Gryzlov, the main condition for achieving total silence along the contact line is the withdrawal of forces along its entire length. “Again, the Armed Forces of Ukraine failed to withdraw forces in Stanytsia Luhanska when there was no reason to postpone the withdrawal of forces,” Gryzlov said. According to him, the political reconciliation of the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine remains a priority for the Group.

Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion at the Separ café in the center of Donetsk on August 31. The self-proclaimed republic, as well as the Russian Foreign Ministry called the accident a terrorist act. They accused the Security Service of Ukraine of the assasination. Kyiv rejected involvement in the attack and suggested that Zakharchenko could have been assassinated due to “criminal showdowns” or eliminated by Russia’s special services.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that after the explosion in Donetsk, it is impossible to speak about any future meeting in the Norman format. Western countries that are participants in the reconciliation of the crisis in the east of Ukraine after Zakharchenko’s death proposed not to transfer the situation into the process of negotiations. “We support diplomatic wok in the Norman format, as well as the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM),” said the comment of the EU press services on the assassination of the head of the DPR.

  Russia, Ukraine, Donbas, DPR, Zakharchenko