OLEKSII REZNIKOV SPOKE AT CHATHAM HOUSE ON THE KEY CONCEPTS OF SAFE REINTEGRATION OF TOT OF UKRAINE
On Tuesday, June 16, an online discussion "How should Ukraine and its Partners resolve the Minsk Conundrum?" was held at the site of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
More than 140 persons from Ukraine, Great Britain, the United States of America, Germany and other countries have registered for the event. Majority of the Participants are diplomats, experts in international policy, researchers, government officials and the like.
Within the framework of the dialogue, Duncan Allan, a researcher at Chatham House and Chairman of Octant Research & Analysis Ltd consulting company, described the current state of the dialogue with Russia as the "Minsk Conundrum".
“Ukraine sees the Minsk agreements as instruments for re-establishment of its sovereignty. It calls for a line with the following sequence: ceasefire, Russian withdrawal from eastern Ukraine, return of the Ukraine/Russia border to Ukrainian control, free and fair elections in Donbas. As a result, Ukraine would be able to make its own domestic and foreign policy choices. But Russia is not ready to accept it. Russia, on the contrary, sees the Minsk agreements as tools to break Ukraine’s sovereignty,” emphasized Duncan Allan.
In his opinion, the time has come for Western policymakers to acknowledge the existence of the "Minsk Conundrum" and review the approach to implementation of the Minsk agreements to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine. “There's no room for compromise. An alternative approach to the implementation of the Minsk agreements would have made the protection of Ukrainian sovereignty an unconditional postulate of Western policy, and thus supported the Ukrainian interpretation of the agreements. This would make the Minsk agreements as a tool for de-escalation and conflict resolution,” added the expert.
Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine, shared Duncan Allan's opinion and familiarized the audience with the key priorities of the reintegration policy of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
Reintegration steps should not pose a threat to Ukraine's national sovereignty and violate social peace. A key component of State policy in this area is the transitional justice measures. These measures will make it possible to restore justice and human rights violations and to bring to justice those who have committed crimes. And for the future, we are already working on the possibility to establish a special regime that would provide for a special model of court proceedings and therefore stimulate the flow of investments.
With this in view, the idea of inclusion of any format of "special status" in the Constitution of Ukraine for certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is unacceptable and is not considered. After de-occupation, these territories will be able to benefit from decentralization equally with other regions of Ukraine.
As Oleksii Reznikov noted, that one of the key components of the State policy in the area of reintegration is the transitional justice measures, which will make it possible to restore justice and human rights violations and to bring to justice those who have committed crimes.
‘The vast majority of persons living in the temporarily occupied territories have become hostages of the occupying force and there will be no claims by the Government of Ukraine to them, they will be able to return to normal life as soon as possible. We will initiate the establishment of simple and understandable procedures at the legislative level to separate those who have committed crimes from those who have been hostage to the occupation regime and who have simply tried to survive and have no blood on their hands. Conditionally, we should separate the so-called "miners" on Russian tanks from the real miners, who work hard and are currently on strike because they have not been paid for months. I am convinced that the second aforementioned category is Ukraine's allies in the process of de-occupation of TOT,” stressed Reznikov.
Reference was made to the need to ensure conditions for the economic recovery of Donbas on both sides of the contact line. Once the Russian side has met the security conditions, it would be possible to raise the issue of liberalization of economic relations.
“There are no economic restrictions on individuals these days, persons could come before the quarantine, buy necessary goods, medicines. The Ukrainian side is already opening EECP in adaptive regime, so these inconveniences will disappear after a while. As for the restrictions for enterprises, they can be lifted after de-escalation and return of captured enterprises to Ukrainian owners. In the future, we are also working on the possibility to establish a special regime that would provide for a special model of court proceedings and therefore stimulate the flow of investments. After all, it is known that, for example, the key issue for international investors is not even the tax system, but the opportunity to protect their investment,” emphasized Deputy Prime Minister.
Oleksii Reznikov reported that a special expert working group would be established on the basis of the Ministry for Reintegration to develop a package of bills on the introduction of the transitional justice system and other safe reintegration measures. Relevant invitation letters have been sent to the relevant Parliamentary Committees and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
“Once the framework of these decisions is in place, we will make them public and invite NGOs to the dialogue with which we have been working closely since the establishment of the Ministry,” concluded Oleksii Reznikov.