OSCE SMM must control complete cessation of fire for truce to be established in Donbas - Kuchma's press secretary
Observers of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should be given the opportunity to exercise control over the complete and comprehensive ceasefire so that the actual truce comes to Donbas, says Darka Olifer, press secretary of the former president of Ukraine, now the country's representative in the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement Leonid Kuchma.
"After the 'harvest ceasefire' began, the security situation improved. According to the chairman of the OSCE SMM, Ertugrul Apakan, who is also coordinator of the security subgroup, the intensity of shellings during this time decreased by almost 80% compared to the previous period," Kuchma's press secretary noted.
"However, a full-fledged silence regime never became a reality as ceasefire violations by illegal armed groups in the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions continue. A creeping military activity is ongoing, as spotted by the OSCE SMM in the areas of forces and means withdrawal near Petrovske and Zolote. Facts of further fortifying machine-gun and mortar firing positions are of particular concern," Olifer added.
At the same time, she stressed that the actual truce is possible only if a number of components are fulfilled. In particular, it is about a "complete, sustainable and comprehensive ceasefire under the monitoring and verification by the OSCE SMM, and the provision of security guarantees, primarily on the part of the Russian Federation", as well as "the withdrawal of heavy weapons, tanks and mortars by illegal armed groups of the occupied parts of Donbas in accordance with Minsk agreements and under the monitoring and verification by the OSCE SMM."
It is also about "ensuring smooth and full-fledged operations of the OSCE SMM throughout Ukraine, including on sites along the uncontrolled part of the Russian-Ukrainian border with the creation of security zones in the border areas and about "demilitarization of Kalmiuske, Kumachove, Sakhanka, and Novoazovsk, return to the line of demarcation established by the Memorandum of September 19, 2014."
"Compliance with the 'Minsk line' is fundamental for the whole bloc of security issues. In particular, according to the agreement, the Donetsk filtering station should remain under Ukraine's control," Olifer emphasized.
"This is the way to ensure the safety of staff of this company, repair teams, and OSCE SMM observers monitoring the area. Ukraine has done everything possible for people who provide water to hundreds of thousands of Donbas residents: Every shift at DFS is accompanied by servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time, the Russian Federation is still refusing to provide adequate security guarantees," she said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on June 27, as a result of preliminary talks in Minsk, the TCG announced support for the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine from July 1 in connection with the beginning of the harvest season. The Ukrainian side is convinced that, in order to establish the truce, Russia and militants it controls must fulfill the defense provisions of Minsk agreements.