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Contact group on Ukraine in Minsk reports 5% increase in ceasefire violations

Politics 18.10.2017 | 20:00

MINSK, 18 October (BelTA) – The number of ceasefire violations in the conflict zone in Ukraine increased by 5% over the past week, BelTA learned from the OSCE's special representative in the trilateral contact group Martin Sajdik on 18 October.

According to the diplomat, enabling proper living standards for the civilian population is becoming particularly important for the trilateral contact group on Ukraine in view of the coming winter. “They need an uninterrupted supply of electricity and water, the ability to freely move across the contact line and, naturally, stay safe in conditions of the conflict. This is why I would like to emphasize that, unfortunately, the number of ceasefire violations increased by 5% over the past week,” stated Martin Sajdik. He noted that the subgroup on security affairs had discussed the matter earlier that day.

Martin Sajdik also called upon the sides to separate their forces and assets near Stanitsa Luganskaya as soon as possible just the way the trilateral contact group's framework agreement of 20 September 2016 specifies.

As a result of the negotiations the OSCE special representative said that the subgroup on economic affairs had once again concentrated on water supply matters. In particular, the subgroup discussed ways to simplify payments for water supply in several parts of Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast. Apart from that, the subgroup made some headway in discussing the possibility of settling the debt former Ukrainian Railways employees are owed.

The subgroup on humanitarian affairs continued discussing the exchange of prisoners of war. Issuing documents for previously released persons was discussed in detail.

According to Martin Sajdik, the subgroup on political affairs spoke in positive terms about extending the effect of the Donbass special status law in the Ukrainian parliament. Discussions about the so-called Steinmeier formula and its implementation also continued.

The contact group will reconvene on Friday, 27 October.

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