OSCE chair to discuss Kerch crisis in Kyiv

OSCE chair to discuss Kerch crisis in Kyiv

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak during his visit to Ukraine next week will familiarize himself with the situation on the contact line in Donbas and discuss other issues, including the situation in the Kerch Strait.

He stated this at a press conference in Vienna on Thursday, January 10, while presenting the priorities of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship, Ukrinform's correspondent in Austria said.

Lajcak said he had decided to make his first visit as OSCE chairman to Ukraine. He said he would have meetings in Kyiv and would also travel to the contact line in Donbas to talk with people affected by the conflict.

According to him, on his trip to Donbas, he will be accompanied by the OSCE Chairperson's Special Representative to the Trilateral Contact Group, Martin Sajdik, and Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Ertugrul Apakan.

We will focus on practical issues, first, on how to achieve progress in political settlement, and secondly, on how to help the victims, Lajcak said.

The OSCE chairman emphasized the importance of full implementation of the Minsk agreements, including a lasting and complete ceasefire, as well as the need to ensure unhindered access for observers.

Lajcak noted that during his visit to Ukraine he will talk about the situation in the Kerch Strait, where on November 25, Russian troops launched an armed attack on the Ukrainian Navy.

We understand how sensitive this issue is and what potential negative effect it can have if it is not resolved, he said.

Lajcak recalled that one of the three key priorities of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship in 2019 would be mediation, conflict resolution and conflict prevention. The crisis in and around Ukraine is one of the most critical security challenges of the present in the OSCE region, he said.

During my speech at the opening session, I paid a lot of attention to the issue of the crisis in and around Ukraine, and I made it clear that this is completely unacceptable, and it is a very urgent issue and a priority for Slovakia, Lajcak said.

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