New ceasefire in Donbas may begin at midnight on July 21 – TCG talks in Minsk
A new ceasefire in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, may start at midnight on July 21, according to the results of recent Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) talks in Minsk on July 17.
"The Trilateral Contact Group with the participation of representatives of ORDLO [Russia-occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine], recognizing the positive effect from ceasing fire, noting the importance of peace and order for the population, as well as proceeding from earlier agreements and obligations of the parties, confirms its full commitment to a comprehensive, sustainable and indefinite ceasefire at midnight on July 21, 2019 (Moscow time)," press secretary of Ukrainian envoy to the TCG, ex-president Leonid Kuchma's Darka Olifer said on Facebook on July 17 following a TCG meeting in Minsk on the same day.
According to her, participants in the talks reiterated their general and firm commitment to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, and also pledged to ensure the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission's full and safe access throughout Ukraine in accordance with its mandate for monitoring and verification, including the use of its technical means.
The TCG members also agreed on the simultaneous, synchronized dismantling of fortifications in the near future, it will begin with the demolition of a facility of illegal armed formations of the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic" on the bridge in the village of Stanytsia Luhanska. Also signage of the self-proclaimed public must be removed. "The Ukrainian side is ready to carry out its part of bridge repairs as soon as possible," Olifer said.
She also said that the TCG's social and economic subgroup was working to ensure the uninterrupted power and water supply that civilians from both sides of the contact line need, but these issues also require security and safety guarantees.
According to her, the meeting saw positive changes in ensuring stable mobile communications throughout Donbas.
As UNIAN reported earlier, TCG representatives at Minsk talks on July 2 failed to agree on the so-called "harvest" ceasefire and the swap of prisoners of war (POWs) over the Russian delegation's position.
On July 16, deputy head of the Ukrainian President's Office Vadym Prystaiko announced that foreign policy advisers to Normandy Four leaders (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France) had agreed on the introduction of the "harvest" ceasefire and mine clearance operations in Stanytsia Luhanska. They also agreed to pinpoint next areas for the disengagement of forces and equipment in Donbas.
Agreement was also reached to swap a certain number of POWs between Ukraine and Russia.