OSCE officially confirms disengagement near Stanytsia Luhanska in Donbas
Russia-led forces deployed in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, have informed the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine about the completion of the disengagement of their forces and weapons near the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
"On June 30, the SMM received a letter from the armed formations in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region notifying that they had completed disengagement in the agreed disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska," the OSCE SMM said in a sport report published on June 30.
On June 26, the Mission observed the beginning of the disengagement process with Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and members of the armed formations leaving their most forward positions, together with their weapons, and exiting the disengagement area.
"In the following days it observed that Ukrainian Armed Forces and the armed formations had vacated other positions inside the disengagement area. It also noted the Ukrainian Armed Forces begin dismantling their forward fortifications and conducting demining work; and the armed formations dismantling a shed and removing some concrete blocks inside the disengagement area, as well as beginning establishment of new crossing infrastructure outside the disengagement area," the spot report said.
On June 29, the SMM received a Note Verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine notifying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had completed disengagement in the agreed disengagement area near Stanytsia Luhanska.
The situation is calm and stable now, OSCE monitors say. The SMM said it would continue to actively monitor and report on the situation.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the first stage of the disengagement of forces and weapons took place at sector No. 1 Stanytsia Luhanska on June 26. The headquarters of Ukraine's Joint Forces Operation (JFO) assured that the disengagement along the contact line did not weaken the defensive capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, the JFO HQ said that the Ukrainian units had taken new, better positions after withdrawal from the Stanytsia Luhanska area.
The Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) relating to the disengagement of forces and hardware was signed in Minsk, Belarus, on September 21, 2016. The document provides for the withdrawal of forces and weapons in three populated localities in Donbas, namely the towns of Zolote and Petrovske, and Stanytsia Luhanska.
The disengagement of forces took place in Zolote on October 1, 2016, and in Petrovske on October 7, 2016.