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12 March 2020, 09:34

Call to observe ceasefire in Ukraine's east

Heidi Grau. Photo courtesy of KEYSTONE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI
Heidi Grau. Photo courtesy of KEYSTONE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

MINSK, 12 March (BelTA) – OSCE special representative in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east Heidi Grau has called on the parties to observe the ceasefire, BelTA has learned.

“Along with the search for peaceful solutions to the conflict in the east of Ukraine, the safety of civilians remains one of the priority tasks for the Trilateral Contact Group. In this regard, we are alarmed by the recent escalation of tensions in the disengagement line and the considerable increase in casualties. Indeed, over the last two weeks their number rose to nine, which is more than a third of civilian casualties this year, and this is absolutely unacceptable. Therefore, I strongly urge the parties to the conflict to observe their ceasefire commitments,” Heidi Grau said.

She noted that taking part in the session were Head of the Ukrainian President's Office Andriy Yermak and Deputy Head of the Russian President Administration Dmitry Kozak. “It was an important demonstration of the political will of the parties to support our efforts. The TCG security subgroup focused on determining additional disengagement areas. The participants of the session agreed to put forward their proposals within a week,” Heidi Grau noted.

The humanitarian subgroup discussed primarily the exchange of detainees. “The participants agreed to submit another list of detainees to the TCG within a week and to finalize this list within two weeks. The parties reached an agreement in principle on opening two new checkpoints,” Heidi Grau said.

The economic subgroup focused on water supply and provision of mobile telecommunication in certain areas of Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast. The political subgroup discussed matters relating to the special status of these areas. “A decision was taken to set up an advisory council at the subgroup. The scope of powers and the operation mode of this council were tentatively agreed. The council will work out recommendations on political matters within the framework of competencies of the subgroups,” the diplomat added.

The Trilateral Contact Group will reconvene on 25 March.

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