MINSK, 6 November 2018 – The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik, made the following statement to the press after the meeting of the TCG and its Working Groups in Minsk on 6 November 2018:
“According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), the current situation in the conflict area in eastern Ukraine is far from being calm. Unfortunately, a relatively high level of ceasefire violations has been registered lately.
In this regard – as I did last time – I once again solemnly urge all the sides to prevent such a development and to show full restraint.
Accordingly, the overall security situation in the conflict area was again in the focus of the TCG and its Security Working Group.
As you know, on October 27, 2018 a SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle went missing on the territory of certain areas of Donetsk region.
In connection with this incident, I once again call on the signatories of the Minsk agreements to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of SMM personnel and assets and to provide conditions for the Mission’s unimpeded operation in accordance with its mandate.
I would like to emphasize that the SMM in Ukraine is the largest and most costly mission in the OSCE history and is financed by taxpayers of all the OSCE participating states. Also in light of the above, a detailed investigation of the incident is needed.
The Economic Working Group focused on the issues related to water deliveries in the "Karbonyt" and "Voda Donbasa" supply systems as well as on the improvement of Vodafone-Ukraine mobile communications in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (CADR and CALR).
The Humanitarian Working Group further considered questions related to the exchange of detainees and the crossing conditions at the contact line via entry-exit checkpoints.
The participants of the Political Working Group exchanged views, in particular, on the modalities of the implementation of the so-called ‘Steinmeier formula’ in light of the sides’ latest decisions.
Against this background, the issue of the so-called “elections” in CADR and CALR announced for the upcoming Sunday was raised in the TCG plenary session. In this context, let me reiterate my already uttered position: I consider that the holding of the so-called “elections” does not correspond either to the letter or to the spirit of the Minsk agreements”.