OSCE envoy Sajdik says 'harvest' ceasefire in Donbas yields significant results
Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik says that the so-called "harvest" ceasefire in Donbas, which began on July 21, has yielded significant results.
"The cessation of fire agreed at the previous TCG meeting, yielded significant results: over this time, no civilian casualties due to shelling were recorded, while the number of ceasefire violations dropped significantly," he said in a statement to the press after the TCG meeting in Minsk on July 31, 2019.
"In this regard, I would like to welcome the sides' efforts to commit to ceasefire. I urge them to continue to fully comply with it. I remind that the ceasefire is unlimited," he said.
According to him, likewise last time, the main topic of discussion in the TCG was the repair works of the bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska. Based on the agreement on the repair works and operation of the bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska reached last time, the sides came to a common understanding of the concrete next steps in this direction. "Tomorrow, demining shall begin. This is a natural prerequisite for the repair works. Throughout the time of repairs, the checkpoint will function uninterrupted, although there may be temporary restrictions. Upon completion of demining, following the above agreement, the fortifications shall be immediately dismantled, and the repair works shall begin," he said.
According to him, they are most likely to last several months. Draft plans of repair works were presented by a Ukrainian expert in the Humanitarian Working Group.
In addition to compliance with ceasefire, the Security Working Group discussed topical issues of disengagement of forces and hardware, in particular the dismantling of fortifications at Stanytsia Luhanska.
"In this regard, I would like to sincerely commend the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission staff as they followed up on the disengagement of forces and hardware at Stanytsia Luhanska, as well as for their contribution to the preparation of the repair works at the bridge," he said.
The Economic Working Group continued to deal with water supply issues in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (CADR/also known as ORDO and CALR/ORLO), including the financial situation of the 'Voda Donbasa' company.
Besides the repair works of the bridge at Stanytsia Luhanska, the Humanitarian Working Group exchanged on the questions related to preparation for a future exchange of detainees. "Again, the discussion on this topic was constructive," Sajdik said.
The Political Working Group continued to discuss the traditional topics on its agenda related to the implementation of the 'Steinmeier formula,' amnesty and local elections in CADR and CALR.
"Leaving for a short summer break, I once again urge the sides to do their utmost to fully commit to the agreed unlimited ceasefire," Sajdik said in the statement.