The Minsk Agreement Text: A Comprehensive Guide
The Minsk Agreement, also known as the Minsk Protocol, is a peace agreement signed in September 2014 in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, between Ukraine, Russia, and the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The agreement aimed to end the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine by implementing a ceasefire, exchanging prisoners, and establishing a plan for political reconciliation.
The Minsk Agreement consists of 13 points, each outlining specific measures to be taken by the parties involved. Here is a comprehensive guide to the content of the Minsk Agreement text:
1. Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire: All parties agreed to immediately halt all hostilities in the Donbas region, including the use of heavy weapons.
2. Withdrawal of heavy weapons: The agreement stipulated that both sides would withdraw all heavy weapons from the front line, creating a buffer zone to prevent further conflict.
3. Release of hostages and prisoners: All parties agreed to release all hostages and prisoners, including military personnel, civilians, and political prisoners.
4. Amnesty: The Ukrainian government agreed to grant amnesty to all combatants who had not committed serious crimes.
5. Constitutional reform: The parties agreed to establish a process for constitutional reform in Ukraine, with the aim of decentralizing power and giving greater autonomy to the regions.
6. Status of Donbas region: The parties agreed to establish a special status for the Donbas region, including provisions for local elections, the use of languages other than Ukrainian, and economic integration with Russia.
7. Border control: The Ukrainian government would regain control over the entire border with Russia.
8. OSCE monitoring: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would monitor the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
9. Humanitarian aid: The parties agreed to allow safe passage of humanitarian aid to the affected areas.
10. Economic recovery: The agreement outlined measures to support the economic recovery of the Donbas region.
11. Cultural rights: The parties agreed to protect the cultural rights and heritage of all minorities in Ukraine.
12. Security guarantees: The parties committed to ensuring the security of all citizens and to prevent any acts of violence or intimidation.
13. Implementation: The Minsk Agreement would be implemented in stages, with each step requiring verification by the OSCE.
Despite the signing of the Minsk Agreement, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has continued, with both sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire and failing to implement the agreement fully. Nevertheless, the agreement remains an important milestone in the search for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and its provisions continue to be discussed in ongoing negotiations.
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