Minsk Negotiations

Memorandum of the Trilateral Contact Group – Minsk, Sept 19, 2014


(Entirely inadvertently, an error was made in the translation of the document below. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused)

Memorandum of September 19, 2014 outlining the parameters
for the implementation of commitments of the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014

(1) Minsk Memorandum, September 19, 2014 (Original) – (2) Link to OSCE Document Repository



with respect to the performance of the provisions of the Protocol of the results of consultations
of the Trilateral Contact Group 
with respect to the steps
aimed at
 the implementation of the Peace Plan
of the President of Ukraine, P. Poroshenko
and the initiatives of the President of Russia, V. Putin

In accordance with Paragraph 1 of the Protocol of the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group
 with respect to the joint steps aimed at 
the implementation of the Peace Plan of the President of Ukraine, P. Poroshenko and the initiatives of the President of Russia, V. Putin ([executed in] the city of Minsk, Republic of Belarus, [on] September 5, 2014) the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of the representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europea [“OSCE”], and the representatives of the certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions have reached an understanding with respect to the following measures, aimed at securing the agreement regarding the bilateral cessation of the use of weapons.

  1. The cessation of the use of weapons shall be considered to be common [for both parties].
  1. The stopping of the units and military formations of the sides at the line of their contact as of September 19, 2014.
  1. The prohibition on the use of all types of weapons and the conduct of offensive operations.
  1. Within twenty four hours from the moment of the adoption of this Memorandum—the withdrawal of the means of destruction of caliber above 100 mm to a distance of not less than 15 km away from the line of contact, on each side (with the exception of those noted below), including from settlements, which would make it possible to create an area of the cessation of use of weapons of not less than 30 km in width (security area). At the same time, withdraw artillery systems of calibre above 100 mm to the maximum distance of their firing range away from the line of contact, and, in particular:

— 100 mm cannon MT-12—9 km; 120 mm mortars—8 km; 122 mm howitzer D-30 (2S1 Gvozdika)—16 km; 152 mm 2S5 Giatsint-S (2S3 Akatsiya, 2S19 Msta-S, 2A65 Msta-B)—33 km; MLRS 9K51 Grad—21 km; 9K57 Uragan—36 km; 9K58 Smerch—70 km; MLRS Tornado-G—40 km; MLRS Tornado-U—70 km; MLRS Tornado-S—120 km;

— tactical missile systems—120 km.

  1. Under the monitoring of the OSCE, the prohibition on the placement of heavy weaponry and military hardware in the area limited by the settlements of Komsomolskoye, Kumachevo, Novoazovsk, Sakhanka.
  1. The prohibition on the placement of new landmine-explosive engineering barriers within the boundaries of the security area. The obligation to remove the previously placed landmine-explosive barriers within the security area.
  1. The prohibition, from the moment of the adoption of this Memorandum, of the flights of combat aircraft and foreign unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”), with the exception of the UAVs used by the monitoring (observer) mission of the OSCE, along the entire line of contact between the sides in the area of the cessation of the use of weapons, to the width of not less than 30 km.
  1. Within twenty-four hours from the moment of the adoption of this Memorandum, the deployment in the area of the cessation of the use of weapons of a monitoring (observer) mission of the OSCE, consisting of groups of observers of the Organization. The above-noted area should be divided into sectors, the number and the boundaries of which shall be agreed upon in the course of preparation for the work of the monitoring (observer) mission of the OSCE.
  1. The removal of all foreign armed groups, military hardware, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine, to be monitored by the OSCE.

Participants of the Trilateral Contact Group:

Ambassador Heidi Talyavini (signed)

Second President of Ukraine, L.D. Kuchma (signed)

Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, M.Y. Zurabov (signed)

A.V. Zakharchenko (signed)

I.V. Plotnitskiy (signed)

Minsk, September 19, 2014


13 thoughts on “Memorandum of the Trilateral Contact Group – Minsk, Sept 19, 2014

    • Well they have about 3 years to train up the army, get more modern equipment from Russia and repair the infrastructure befoe the war starts gain. This agreement will not end the war, there will be more fighting and more meetings in Minsk. But everyone needs a breather now to deal with civic obligations.


      Posted by Dr. Judith Weller, Ph.D | Sep 22, 2014, 21:27
  1. Reblogged this on keesened's Blog.


    Posted by keesened | Sep 23, 2014, 15:29
  2. I have some questions about the “line of contact”, which is presumably the Ukraine-Novorossiya border. Do Donetsk and Lugansk fall wholly within Novorossiya? What about the Donetsk airport? Can Ukraine government officials cross into Novorossiya, or are there road blocks? Do you have a map of the final boundaries? Have those been agreed upon? And last, will Novorossiya be holding elections on its own terms, without Ukraine intervention?


    Posted by konar | Sep 23, 2014, 16:49
  3. To Gleb Bazov:

    I have seen your debates on the Minsk protocol on Twitter. I give my thoughts here because I don’t want to have a Twitter account.

    Even if NAF obtained a military victory absent the Minsk protocol, we cannot assume this would have been the last war. There are too many ultra-nationalists and nazis in Ukraine and the US wants a conflict in Ukraine to trigger a color revolution in Russia very badly. I hear your concern about saving lives. This is a noble and very important concern. However I fear that the military solution that would have been achieved absent Minsk is not guaranteed to have achieved what you seek.

    I think your idea that Russia would bail out Ukraine from economic crisis is insightful. If that happens Russia wins strategically. They won’t bail out Ukraine without conditions because this would amount to fund the next war against Novorossiya. Hence, if Ukraine doesn’t agree to the conditions they won’t be bailed out even if that means Ukraine may degenerate into a failed state.

    Russia can afford to forego past debts and give money away instead of granting loans because they may obtain very valuable non-monetary considerations for their help. They may require official recognition that Crimea is now in Russia. They may demand guarantees that the rights of Russian people in Ukraine are protected. The deal may even require a federalisation of Ukraine and outlawing nazis political parties. Such an agreement may lead to a permanent solution to the crisis. Once Ukraine is officially at peace with Russia the west no longer have a reason to keep the confrontation going.

    However, whether these discussions are fruitful depends on who is in power at Kiev and how much appetite there is for a bail out. If there is an ultra-nationalist or nazi dictator there won’t be a deal. A possible approach for Russia would be to help consolidate Porochenko’s power and wait for the Ukrainian society as a whole to become disenchanted with the Maidan project. Porochenko is touring western capitals trying to get help and obtains only token gestures. After a while the economic pain will be very palpable and only the most bigots of the ultra-nationalists will still believe the west is the solution. Only then Putin can offer a bail out to Porochenko and be welcome by Ukraine’s public opinion.

    This is just a scenario. Lots of things may go wrong, including a far-right putsch in Kiev. But if things work out fine this is a path that may lead to a permanent solution without a resumption of the war. Perhaps this is what Lavrov meant when he said:

    Sergey Lavrov: “Ukraine is facing a choice between peace and a constructive dialogue in society, on the one hand, and authoritarianism and a national radical dictatorship on the other. It is up to Kiev and Ukrainian society to decide. ”

    I believe Russia wants to see which path the Ukraine will choose before going for a military solution. If things go according to plan, Russia will do one thing. If things go another way Russia will do something else. But first, Russia wants to see the choice.

    The view that someone in the entourage of Putin deliberately sabotages Russian foreign policy behind Putins’ back is incredible. That would be begging for being purged with criminal charges. This protocol is supposed to implement Putin’s own seven points plan. Putin is watching what is being done and he will react if he doesn’t like what he sees. Whoever is behind the Minsk protocol must be capable of plausibly defending his actions to Putin himself.


    Posted by The other Paul | Sep 23, 2014, 22:49
    • 1. If Putin were to hand over all of European Russia to the Ukr state, not a single one of them would thank him for the gift. They aren’t going to thank him if he ‘bails out’ Kiev. These people are programmed to think that Russia is their eternal enemy. This is the result of years of ‘éducation à l’Ukrainienne‘, not of some sudden fit of hysteria. If one is paying for the reconstruction of a party who is intent on reconstructing only the better to attack you in the future, one has not “won strategically”—one is actively sabotaging one’s own position.

      2. If Russia bails out Kiev it will impose conditions: no doubt this is true. We have seen since the signing of the Minsk protocols a) how much commitment Kiev has to fulfilling its obligations under any deal (zero, in case you were wondering), and b) how much commitment Russia has to enforcing those obligations on a recalcitrant Kiev (zero, in case you were wondering). Incidentally, Kiev has taken IMF money and failing studiously to meet many of the demands imposed on it by that body. It nonetheless continues to receive that money and there is no serious prospect of the IMF saying ‘no more’. In short, there is zero prospect of them fulfilling any of the conditionalities that Russia might impose on them as part of any deal.

      3. Nobody imagines this would have been ‘the last war’. But one doesn’t prepare for coming hostilities by abandoning a successful offensive against an enemy that was in disarray. One presses any and every possible advantage. Nobody is claiming that negotiations per se are the problem: the content of those negotiations are the problem, and the battlefield disposition that they have forced on the NAF.

      4. The notion that there is a ‘danger’ of Poroshenko being replaced by “an ultra-nationalist or Nazi dictator” is laughable. What more does his government have to do for you to realise that the fascist threat is already a reality? If Lavrov seriously believes that there isn’t already an “authoritarian, national radical dictatorship” in Kiev, then he should see a psychiatrist. Consolidating Poroshenko’s power means entrenching the CIA’s control over Ukr, entrenching the power of the Ukr oligarchs, entrenching the fascistisation of Ukr society, and entrenching the forward positions of those whose ultimate strategic goal is Moscow. The only “permanent solution” to the crisis is the liberation of Kiev itself, which could only be achieved by a victorious NAF. Kiev was, of course, officially at peace with Russia before the coup d’état which overthrew Yanukovich: the West did not think “we have no reason to keep a confrontation going”.

      5. The view that somebody deliberately sabotages Russian foreign policy behind Putin’s back is indeed incredible. The point is that Putin has given the green light to a certain faction in the Kremlin that believes that selling Novorossiya to Poroshenko and the West is an acceptable price to pay for holding on to money, power (in Russia), and a pipe-dream of ‘partnership’ with the Empire. Putin is not some diabolically brilliant chess master or political tactician—he is the man the oligarchs brought to power to maintain the status quo.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by babeuf79 | Sep 24, 2014, 01:35
      • @BABEUF79

        Here are some random thoughts, in no particular order.

        The idea of bailing out Ukraine is not from me. Gleb Bazov mentioned it on Twitter. He also argued that NAF winning the war would have ended the killing of civilians. Reasonable minds may disagree on this last point.

        The idea that taking Kiev would change “years of ‘éducation à l’Ukrainienne‘” is hard to believe. The whole country is affected. Marching to Kiev and winning the war is the easy part. What comes after that is the problem. See US in Baghdad. NAF does not have the manpower to be an occupying force.

        Please don’t confuse lack of commitment with inability to herd cats. Porochenko has problems implementing his policies now because he rules over a coalition of non-cooperating persons. That could change after the upcoming elections. It all depends on the composition of the Rada.

        As far as I know they still have elections in the Ukraine. The fascists and nazis have the power and they abuse it but they are not yet dictators. Theoretically they can still be voted out of office. Dictatorship will occur when they stop having elections.

        If Ukraine is officially at peace with Russia and recognises Crimea is Russia, then the current array of western sanctions is not justifiable. There may be more covert operations against Ukraine and Russia, but nothing can be overtly sustained. The current conflict is effectively ended.

        I believe you severely underestimate Putin and Lavrov. In particular their policies are based on the information Russian intelligence services have gathered. They know far more than anyone in this forum knows and our armchair general conceptions are most likely inaccurate. If they have decided to sell Novorossiya as you allege, there is not much that can be done about it because they hold the power. But there is a very real possibility that this is not their plan. Only the future will tell which it is.


        Posted by The other Paul | Sep 24, 2014, 04:28
      • A reply to The Other Paul’s reply to Babeuf79:

        Good comment, Other Paul. Just two very minor differences. 1. “Dictatorship will occur when they stop having elections”? No, dictatorships occur when elections are rigged. 2. “They [Putin, Lavrov] know far more than anyone in this forum knows and our armchair general conceptions are most likely inaccurate.” Not necessarily. I imagine Putin and Lavrov know more than their American counterparts. But members of the US government seem to know less than many bloggers. Hitler at the end knew nothing, surrounded by yes men. It’s an interesting question, just how much these leaders know.


        Posted by konar | Sep 24, 2014, 22:28


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