Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine

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The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine is a group of representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe that was formed as means to facilitate a diplomatic resolution to the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine. There are several subgroups.[1]

The group was created after the May 2014 election of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Prior to his election, unrest had gripped the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine, in the aftermath of the Euromaidan movement and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. After an informal meeting of heads of state at the commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of D Day in Normandy on 6 June 2014, it was devised that a group should be created to facilitate dialogue between the Ukrainian government and the Russian government.[2][3] Relations between Russia and Ukraine were extremely tense following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and Russia had also been accused by Ukraine and western leaders of having fomented the unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine.

First Kiev meeting

The first session of the group took place on June 8, 2014 and involved participation of the Ambassador of Russia to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Pavlo Klimkin and the special representative of OSCE General Secretary Heidi Tagliavini.[4] There were three sessions of the group between June 8–9, during which its participants discussed the peace plan that was proposed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.[5]

Donetsk meeting

On June 20, 2014 the President of Ukraine announced his fifteen-point plan for peace and unilaterally ordered a week long ceasefire (see Fifteen-point peace plan).[6] Russian president Vladimir Putin insisted that negotiations should include representatives of separatists from the Eastern Ukraine and should not perceive it as an "ultimatum", otherwise the ceasefire would fail.[7] On June 23 the pro-Russian militants promised to honor the ceasefire if they participate in talks.[8] By request of the President, Ukraine was represented by Leonid Kuchma,[9] as Pavlo Klimkin had to be present in Luxembourg.[10]

To the first meeting of the Donetsk talks on 23 June 2014 arrived Leonid Kuchma, Mikhail Zurabov, Viktor Medvedchuk (leader of "Ukrainian Choice"), leaders of pro-Russian militants Oleg Tsariov and Aleksandr Borodai and the OSCE representatives.[11][12] After the meeting, the vehicle with Kuchma and Nestor Shufrych was attacked by angry crowd just outside the administrative building.[13] According to OSCE, Medvedchuk represented pro-Russian militants at the negotiations.[14] Participation of Medvedchuk as a mediator in negotiations was also backed by Angela Merkel, to which Poroshenko agreed.[15][16] On June 26, 2014 the Medvedchuk's "Ukrainian Choice" accused Tagliavini that she misunderstood as Zubarov explicitly stated that Medvedchuk acted on petition of Petro Poroshenko.[17]

During the ceasefire, the pro-Russian militants released the OSCE observers that were held hostage.[18][19]

Second Kiev meeting

On July 2, 2014 at the meeting in Berlin four minister of foreign affairs from Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agree to resume peace talks no later than July 5, 2014.[20]

The third session of the group took place on July 6, 2014.[21] At the negotiations were present Kuchma, Zurabov, Tagliavini, Shufrych, and Medvedchuk.[22]

Third Kiev meeting

The group also convened soon after the crash of Malaysian Airlines on July 17, 2014 when representatives of separatists assured cooperation with the OSCE representatives in the East Ukraine.[23]

Minsk meeting

The new round of peace talks started on July 31, 2014, in Minsk.[24] On September 5, 2014, Minsk Protocol was signed.

According to the interview Aleksandr Borodai by the Russian newspaper "Novaya Gazeta", Kuchma proposed pro-Russian militants to surrender, at which both Medvedchuk and Shufrych chuckled.[25][26]

Since Minsk II

At a summit in Minsk on 11 February 2015, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany agreed to a package of measures to stop the War in Donbass; this package became known as Minsk II.[27][28][29][30] Since then the contact group occacionally gathers in Minsk.[31] The separatists Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic representatives forward their proposals to the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine.[32]

Several subgroups within the Trilateral Contact Group have been created since.[1][33]


  1. 1.0 1.1 (Ukrainian) Medvedchuk will represent Ukraine in the subgroup of Humanitarian Affairs Tripartite Working Group 1852, Ukrainian News Agency (5 June 2015)
  2. Poroshenko and Putin are calling for an end to "bloodshed" in Ukraine. Le Monde. 6 June 2014
  3. Ceasefire must be ensured in eastern Ukraine this coming week - Poroshenko. Interfax-Ukraine. 9 June 2014
  4. Fire in the East has to be stopped this week - Poroshenko. NB News. 8 June 2014
  5. Steinmeier: In the Ukrainian crisis appeared a dim light at the end of tunnel. Deutsche Welle.
  6. Poroshenko unveils peace plan during visit to Ukraine's restive east. Kyiv Post. 20 June 2014
  7. Poroshenko's Ukraine peace plan gets limited support from Putin. Reuters. 21 June 2014
  8. Ukraine separatists vow to honor the govt cease-fire as peace talks get under way in the east. FOX News. 23 June 2014
  9. Today in Donetsk will take place a session of Ukraine-RF-OSCE with participation of Kuchma. NB News. 23 June 2014
  10. At the negotiations in Donetsk Kuchma substituted Klimkin - Herashchenko. NB News. 24 June 2014
  11. Kuchma, Medvedchuk, Tsariov and Zurabov arrived to the Donetsk Regional State Administration for negotiations. NB News. 23 June 2014
  12. Kuchma and OSCE Representatives to Negotiate Zurabov, Tsariov, Medvedchuk and Borodai In Donetsk. 23, June 2014
  13. In Donetsk sympathizers of DNR threw rocks at the vehicle of Kuchma and Shufrych. NB News. 23 June 2014
  14. At the peace talks Medvedchuk represented DNR and LNR - OSCE. NB News. 24 June 2014
  15. Merkel backs Medvedchuk's mediation in tripartite contact group to resolve situation in Donbas, Poroshenko agrees. Kyiv Post. 25 June 2014
  16. Merkel proposed for Medvedchuk to mediate negotiations about Donbas. NB News. 25 June 2014
  17. At the negotiations with terrorists Medvedchuk acted on petition of Poroshenko - declaration. NB News. 25 June 2014
  18. Ukrainian rebels free four OSCE hostages, four still in captivity. Reuters. 27 June 2014
  19. Ukraine rebels free 4 more OSCE hostages (Observers come from Switzerland, Turkey, Estonia and Denmark). CBC News. 28 June 2014
  20. Joint Declaration by the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. German Missions in the United States. 2 July 2014
  21. Press Statement by the Trilateral Contact Group. OSCE. 6 July 2014
  22. Trilateral meeting of contact group Ukraine-OSCE-RF takes place in Kyiv. UNIAN. 6 July 2014
  23. Press statement by the Trilateral Contact Group. OSCE. 18 July 2014
  24. Press Statement by the Trilateral Contact Group. OSCE. 31 July 2014
  25. Medvedchuk and Shufrych chuckled at the proposition of Kuchma to the terrorists to give up - Borodai. NB News. 13 August 2014
  26. Kanygin, P. Aleksandr Borodai: We are not ready to conclude peace on conditions of capitulation. "Novaya Gazeta". 13 August 2014
  27. "Ukraine crisis: Leaders agree peace roadmap". BBC News. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Ukraine ceasefire deal agreed at Belarus talks". The Guardian. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Breakthrough in Minsk as leaders agree to ceasefire deal on Ukraine". Euronews. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "OSCE Chairperson-in-Office gives full backing to Minsk package" (Press release). Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Geopolitical Calendar: Week of June 1, 2015, STRATFOR (1 June 2015)
  32. Donetsk, Luhansk republics say election proposals forwarded to Contact Group on Ukraine, Russian News Agency "TASS" (12 May 2015)
  33. Medvedchuk: Ukraine nixes '25-for-50' prisoner swap, Interfax-Ukraine (14 March 2014)

External links