MINSK, 12 November 2019 – The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik, issued the following statement to the press after the meeting of the TCG and its working groups in Minsk on 12 November 2019:
“Due to the weather conditions, not all participants have been able to travel to Minsk today. Therefore, the Trilateral Contact Group convened in the videoconference format.
As you know, on November 9, 2019 the sides launched the renewed withdrawal of their forces and hardware in the Petrivske area.
The representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk region, for their part, announced the completion of this withdrawal on the same day, while the Ukrainian side made its announcement yesterday, November 11, 2019. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission expects the sides’ formal notification of the completion of withdrawal tomorrow at the latest. Also, not later than tomorrow, demining works shall start in the Petrivske area.
In the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, the repair works on the bridge across the Siverskyi Donets river continue successfully. They are expected to be completed by the end of this month.
In the Zolote disengagement area, demining works are in progress.
I call on the sides to continue taking full responsibility in fulfilling their obligations under the TCG Framework Decision relating to disengagement of forces and hardware. This is an important factor for strengthening mutual trust aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east of Ukraine.
All these issues, as well as general security situation in the conflict area, were today the focus of the Trilateral Contact Group and its Security Working Group.
The Economic Working Group discussed water delivery issues, mobile communication provided by Vodafone Ukraine, the payment of pensions, as well as the ecology.
The Political Working Group paid particular attention to the implementation of the ‘Steinmeier formula’. In this context, the modalities of local elections in the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine were duly considered.
As per the sides’ prior agreement, the meeting of the Humanitarian Working Group was not held today due to earlier commitments of the Coordinator, Ambassador Toni Frisch. I hope sincerely that the Group will take its work forward in the videoconference format to ensure progress in this field, which is crucially important for the population”.
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