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Contact group on Ukraine in Minsk in agreement on Easter truce

Politics 10.04.2019 | 19:58
Martin Sajdik. An archive photo
Martin Sajdik. An archive photo

MINSK, 10 April (BelTA) – The contact group on Ukraine is in agreement on the need to declare an Easter truce, BelTA learned from the OSCE's special representative in the trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east Martin Sajdik on 10 April.

The subgroup on security discussed the overall security situation and preparations to declare truce in view of the Easter celebration. “As a result, the trilateral contact group reached an agreement it is necessary to declare truce. An additional video conference to make the final arrangements was rescheduled for 18 April. Experience demonstrates that the political will of the sides is crucial to achieving an effective and lasting truce. If there is a will, it can be easily done,” Martin Sajdik said.

The subgroup on security also discussed additional measures to ensure security and humanitarian demining. Members of the subgroup on economic affairs expressed concern about the situation, which emerged around the Donbass water supply company early this month due to power disruptions. Martin Sajdik urged sides of the conflict to ensure security and stable operation of the water supply company as well as other critical civilian infrastructure installations.

The diplomat also said that the coordinator of the subgroup on humanitarian affairs, Ambassador Toni Frisch presented results of his visit to Ukraine's east. The visit took place on 3-9 April. He visited detention facilities on both sides of the contact line and met with captives, their friends and families as well as relatives of missing people. Asked about difficulties with meeting with the captives, Martin Sajdik noted that Toni Frisch had been on the Ukrainian side of the contact line to look into this issue. “He visited people held in a prison in Mariupol. I would like to remind you that in line with the international humanitarian law the International Committee of the Red Cross is supposed to have access to captives on both sides of the contact line. The committee enjoys such access only in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government,” the diplomat said.

Asked whether the trilateral contact group had discussed the presidential election in Ukraine, Martin Sajdik answered negatively. He also refuted reports that only the subgroup on security had a discussion today.

The trilateral contact group will reconvene in Minsk on 24 April.

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