MINSK, 4 September (BelTA) – The number of civilian casualties in Ukraine's east stays at its lowest since the beginning of the conflict. The ceasefire established on 21 July has contributed to it, BelTA learned from the OSCE's special representative in the trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east Martin Sajdik on 4 September.
The OSCE representative said: “The ceasefire the trilateral contact group facilitated continues bearing fruit despite a slight deterioration of the situation in the last few days. According to the OSCE's special monitoring mission to Ukraine, no victims among civilians were registered in the last three weeks. Apart from that, the number of civilian victims this year has been at its lowest since the beginning of the conflict. I urge all the sides to strictly honor the commitments they've undertaken particularly in view of the beginning of the new academic year.” Martin Sajdik also mentioned positive dynamics in implementing the trilateral contact group's decision on restoring a bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya.
“Approaches to the bridge have been cleared of mines. Fortifications are being dismantled. It allows starting preparations and consequent repairs,” Martin Sajdik said. In his words, these matters were discussed by the trilateral contact group and the subgroup on security on 4 September. Apart from that, prospects of resuming the separation of forces and assets in Zolotoye and Petrovsky were discussed.
The subgroup on economic affairs discussed water supply among other things. The subgroup on humanitarian affairs was busy discussing the exchange of captives. The subgroup on political affairs continued discussing the implementation of the Steinmeier formula, the amnesty, municipal elections, and decentralization.
“As you are aware, tomorrow it will be five years since the Minsk Protocol was signed. This is why participants of the trilateral contact group have once again confirmed their adherence to the Minsk agreements. In this context I also welcome the meeting of ‘Normandy format' diplomatic counsellors, which took place in Berlin on 2 September,” Martin Sajdik.
The next meeting of the trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east will take place on 18 September.More about Politics