OSCE notes deterioration of security situation in eastern Ukraine

OSCE notes deterioration of security situation in eastern Ukraine

Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Heidi Grau states that the security situation has deteriorated in and around the areas of disengagement of troops and equipment in eastern Ukraine.

According to Ukrinform, this is said in Grau’s statement to the press after the regular meetings of the TCG ‎and its Working Groups held through video conferencing on July 7.

“Today I would like to introduce the new Coordinators of the TCG Working Groups: Ambassador Sylvie-Agnès Berman, Coordinator of the Political Working Group and Ms Charlotta Relander, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Working Group. I want to thank them for joining our team and wish them effective and fruitful work,” Grau said.

According to the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, there has been an increasing number of ceasefire violations over the past two weeks.  “The overall quantity of violations is rising, while the security situation in and around the disengagement areas is deteriorating. At the same time, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has reported restrictions on freedom of movement and deliberate damage to technical and surveillance equipment. I need to underline that the sides have not yet demonstrated their willingness to address the ceasefire violations recorded by the SMM,” she noted.

Despite the deterioration of the situation, Grau emphasized, the participants in the Security Working Group focused their attention primarily on wider conceptual issues, while the discussion on the coordination mechanism, demining and the disengagement of forces and hardware remained in the background.  “Unfortunately, the repetition of well-known positions does not allow us to reach practical solutions,” she added.

As noted, the Political Working Group continued informal consultations in order to find compromise solutions to overcome procedural obstacles. I am convinced that these issues can be resolved provided that the sides demonstrate greater flexibility.

The focus of the Humanitarian Working Group was on the exchange of conflict-related detainees, including the pending "procedural clearance". The subsequent steps in the search for missing persons were also duly considered. Regrettably, there was again no progress as regards the full operation of the two new crossing points in the Luhansk region.

As Grau informed, the Economic Working Group focused on environmental issues, with special attention paid to the establishment of an expert group on flooded mines. In addition, participants exchanged views on topics related to water supplies, pension payments, mobile communications, real estate property, as well as repayment of arrears to former employees of the Ukrainian Railways.”


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