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21 August 2019, 19:39

Contact group on Ukraine in Minsk describes current ceasefire as most effective

Martin Sajdik. An archive photo
Martin Sajdik. An archive photo

MINSK, 21 August (BelTA) – The ceasefire, which began in Ukraine's east on 21 July, is the most effective one on record, BelTA learned from the OSCE's special representative in the trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east Martin Sajdik on 21 August.

According to the source, the ceasefire continues bringing fruits. “Today, 30 days after it began, the average number of ceasefire violations is much lower than it was before the ceasefire came into effect,” Martin Sajdik said.

According to the OSCE's special monitoring mission to Ukraine, no civilian has been killed due to shelling since the ceasefire began. Only one person has been injured. “It obviously proves the importance of the ceasefire agreements we adopt. Once again I urge the sides to continue fully honoring their commitments particularly bearing in mind the beginning of the academic year,” Martin Sajdik said.

The key topic of today's session of the trilateral contact group was preparations for repairing the bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya. The necessary steps were agreed. “Tomorrow the sides will exchange written notifications through me about the end of mine clearance and the readiness to start repairs, including the removal of fortifications,” the diplomat stated. He added that information from the Ukrainian side had already been received.

The subgroup on security discussed the ceasefire and the situation in Stanitsa Luganskaya as well as the resumption of separation of forces and assets in Zolotoye and Petrovsky. The subgroup on economic affairs discussed water supply in certain areas of Lugansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast among other things. The subgroup on humanitarian affairs continued discussing the exchange of captives. “Unfortunately, I cannot say the discussion has been finished,” Martin Sajdik said.

The subgroup on political affairs had debates about the implementation of the Steinmeier formula, the amnesty and municipal elections in certain areas of Lugansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast. When asked about the possible future of the special status of the region, the OSCE representative noted that the Steinmeier formula covered it as well. Martin Sajdik also said that Ukraine was represented by the diplomat Valery Grebenyuk in the subgroup on political affairs on 21 August.

Speaking about prospects of the “Normandy format”, Martin Sajdik referred to UN Security Council resolution No.2202 of 17 February 2015. “It indirectly ties the Normandy format to our work here. This is why certainly there is an oversight mechanism. There has been no oversight like that this year. Advancing the discussion within the framework of the Normandy format is very important for us. I think progress in our work here is very important for the Normandy format, too,” he remarked.

When asked about the possible release of 24 Ukrainian sailors by Russia, Martin Sajdik said that the matter was not discussed by the trilateral contact group.

The next meeting of the contact group on Ukraine will take place on 4 September.

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