Ukraine at Minsk talks insists on disengagement in occupied Debaltseve
Darka Olifer, the spokesperson for ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma who represents Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) at Minsk peace talks on Donbas, says the Ukrainian side continues insisting that the contact line agreed as of September 19, 2014, should be observed and also demands disengagement of troops and equipment in the occupied town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.
"On September 21, 2016, the TCG signed a Framework Decision on the disengagement of forces and equipment in designated areas. Taking into consideration that the ORLO (separate areas in Luhansk region) has failed to observe the ceasefire, disengagement in the village of Stanytsia Luhanska has not taken place yet. Four new areas are under discussion. We insist that the contact line stipulated in a memorandum dated September 19, 2014, should be observed and Debaltseve should be one of the next disengagement areas. Also, [we demand] demilitarization of the areas near the villages of Sakhanka, Kumachove, and Komsomolske in Donetsk region's south," she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
She also said that the TCG's achievement in the past year is that escalation in Donbas has been contained.
Olifer also added that the TCG passed a statement on Wednesday on the need for a comprehensive, sustainable, indefinite ceasefire pending the Christmas and New Year holidays, starting from 00:00 Kyiv time on December 24, 2016.
Read alsoRussian proxies pledge truce in Donbas for ChristmasOne of the priorities in 2016 was security, she said, and the settlement of security-related issues is a baseline for a full-fledged solution to all other provisions sealed in the Minsk peace agreements.
A full ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign armed formations, the sealing of the border, adherence to Ukrainian laws and OSCE standards are major conditions for conducting local elections in Donbas, Olifer reiterated.