OSCE calls for avoiding actions or statements leading to escalation in Donbas

OSCE calls for avoiding actions or statements leading to escalation in Donbas

Ukrinform
The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Heidi Grau, has called on all parties to the conflict in Donbas to refrain from any actions or statements that could be perceived as provocative or leading to increased tensions.

The ambassador said this after the regular meetings of the TCG ‎and its Working Groups held through video conferencing on March 17, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission's assessments, the commitment to the ceasefire in the conflict zone and the additional measures to strengthen it are overall respected. However, since November 2020, there has been a gradual increase in the number of ceasefire violations that, regrettably, negatively affects the civilians in the conflict zone," she said.

In addition, in the information space, there has been a recent increase in publications containing mutual accusations regarding the readiness of the sides to resolve the conflict by force. "Undoubtedly, all of this has a negative impact on the activities of the TCG and its Working Groups. I would like to stress that all participants in the conflict need to refrain from any actions or statements that could be perceived as provocative or leading to increased tensions," Grau noted.

All of these were subjects of discussion in the Security Working Group.

Participants of the Working Group also considered issues related to the proper functioning of the coordination mechanism for responding to ceasefire violations and the development of an updated demining plan, the adoption and implementation of which is crucial, especially in the run-up to the spring planting season.

Procedural issues prevailed in the discussions of the Political Working Group, tasked by the TCG to develop an action plan in full compliance with the Minsk agreements, which this time obstructed  substantive discussion in both the Working Group and the TCG.

The Humanitarian Working Group focused on removing obstacles to the opening and full operation of the new entry-exit crossing points near Zolote and Shchastia of the Luhansk region.

The Working Group also considered aspects of mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees.

Participants in the Economic Working Group discussed water supply issues across the contact line in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Also, a substantial discussion on environmental issues and the provision of mobile communications by “Vodafone-Ukraine” in the occupied Donbas took place.

A meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict in Donbas took place on March 17. The next meeting is scheduled for March 31.

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