OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (Georgia), while underlining the firm stance that the Assembly has upheld in defense of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, expressed hope that the recent steps taken by Ukraine and the Russian Federation will provide a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
"The conflict will not be settled by military means," Tsereteli said on October 8, according to the OSCE PA's press release.
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"The only way to alleviate human suffering in eastern Ukraine, especially in light of the approaching winter, is a step-by-step approach. Despite the need for some further clarifications and refinements, the recent initiatives of German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier could be helpful to refresh the process for achieving progress in implementing the Minsk Agreements. I am glad that last week the members of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk confirmed the concrete text for implementation in Ukrainian legislation, as agreed by the Political Advisers in the Normandy format. We must build upon this momentum."
He reiterated what he said last week in his opening speech at the OSCE PA's Autumn Meeting in Marrakech. "After five years of bloodshed, all steps that can bring lasting peace are appreciated and so we again call for full implementation of the Minsk Agreements," Tsereteli stated in Marrakech. "We must build upon positive steps with further confidence-building measures."
He added that the OSCE PA continues to be ready to contribute, for instance once it is agreed that the preconditions for the holding of local elections in line with OSCE commitments are met. In the meantime, strict observance of the ceasefire, further military disengagement and the continuation of repair works on critical infrastructure are key, Tsereteli said.