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12 February 2020, 19:59

Political will of sides needed to resolve conflict in Ukraine's east

Heidi Grau
Heidi Grau

MINSK, 12 February (BelTA) – The resolution of the conflict in Ukraine's east requires efforts and political will of the sides, BelTA learned from the OSCE special representative in the trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine's east Heidi Grau.

The diplomat said: “A set of measures to fulfill the Minsk agreements was signed precisely five years ago. It was approved by leaders of the ‘Normandy Four' and the UN Security Council. The set of measures as well as the Minsk protocol and the Minsk memorandum make up the foundation for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine's east. The sides demonstrate their dedication to the Minsk agreements, but the resolution of the conflict still requires efforts and political will of the sides. Regretfully, people still keep dying.”

In her words, restrictions on the freedom of movement of the OSCE's special monitoring mission to Ukraine interfere with the monitoring of the ceasefire observation. “Today I was glad to hear that the sides had expressed readiness to put more efforts into implementing the conclusion of the Normandy summit. The work of the trilateral contact group and its subgroups proceeded in this spirit today,” the OSCE special representative noted.

The subgroup on security considered proposals of the sides to choose additional areas for separating forces and assets. Apart from exchanging POWs the subgroup on humanitarian affairs discussed ways to ensure effective search for missing persons. The possibility of opening new checkpoints at the contact line was also discussed.

The subgroup on economic affairs discussed the payment of pensions and matters of water supply in certain areas of Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast. The subgroup on political affairs discussed matters relating to the special status of these areas as well as to the implementation of the Steinmeier formula into the Ukrainian legislation.

The trilateral contact group will reconvene on 26 February.

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