OSCE outlines conditions for new ceasefire in Donbas

OSCE outlines conditions for new ceasefire in Donbas

Additional measures, which were agreed in the Trilateral Contact Group to strengthen the ceasefire in Donbas, provide for retaliatory fire in response to an offensive operation.

This was said in a statement by the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Heidi Grau, after the regular meetings of the TCG ‎and its working groups on July 22.

In the statement, Grau said that the TCG had reached agreement regarding additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire, aiming to ensure compliance with a comprehensive, sustainable and unlimited ceasefire.

The agreements provide for "the issuance and enactment from 00:01hrs (Kyiv time) on July 27, 2020 by the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the leadership of the armed formations of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of, and compliance with, for the whole period until full comprehensive settlement of the conflict, the respective ceasefire orders."

The orders should contain the following measures to support the ceasefire:

  1. ban on offensive, reconnaissance and sabotage operations, as well as ban on operation of any types of aerial vehicles of the sides;
  2. ban on firing, including sniper fire;
  3. ban on the deployment of heavy weapons in and around settlements, primarily at civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals and public premises;
  4. the effective use of disciplinary actions for ceasefire violations and notification of them to the TCG Coordinator who shall inform all of its participants about it;
  5. creation and involvement of a coordination mechanism for responding to ceasefire violations through the facilitation of the JCCC in its current setting;
  6. retaliatory fire responding to an offensive operation is only permissible if it occurs at the order made by the respective leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the leadership of CADLR armed formations after an unsuccessful attempt to make use of the above-mentioned coordination mechanism. The TCG shall be notified of the issuance of such orders;
  7. the above-mentioned measures may not be, fully or in part, disavowed by any other orders, including secret ones.

As noted, offensive operation shall have the following meaning: any attempts to change the positioning of the troops which exists as of the date of this statement, including any additional engineering improvement of positions, and/or any forward movement and/or relocation of armed persons towards the adversary, including for the purposes of reconnaissance and sabotage operations.

The leaderships of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and CADLR armed formations will make public statements about the issuance of the orders listing all the above measures and confirm that these ceasefire orders comply with such measures.

As reported, during a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) in Minsk on Wednesday, the parties agreed on a complete and comprehensive ceasefire on the contact line in Donbas from July 27.


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