OSCE: New disengagement sites in Donbas not identified yet
Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Heidi Grau says the TCG participants, namely Ukraine and Russia, have not yet identified new disengagement sites.
"The Security Working Group paid major attention to the identification of additional disengagement areas of forces and hardware. Yet, further efforts are still needed to come to a decision on this issue," Grau said in a press statement after a TCG meeting on April 8, 2020.
In the discussion on mine action, the demining of civilian facilities and their surroundings was prioritized.
"In this regard, emphasis was made on the need for timely mine clearance of entry-exit crossing points and adjacent areas in the period before the future lifting the ongoing restrictions on crossing the line of contact," she said.
In addition, the Economic Working Group discussed the question of economic relations across the line of contact. The discussion also touched upon pressing environmental issues and current issues of water supplies to certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (CADR and CALR).
"The Political Working Group discussed aspects related to the special status of CADR and CALR, as foreseen by the Minsk Agreements," the official said.
According to Grau, the Humanitarian Working Group focused its debates on the exchange of detainees. The sides agreed in principle on the next phase of the exchange with a view to its completion in the near future. Aspects of the opening of new entry-exit crossing points on the line of contact in the Luhansk region were further discussed.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the withdrawal of forces and troops at the first three sites in Donbas took place in 2019. The disengagement of forces in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska was in June 2019, near Zolote in late October, and near Bohdanivka and Petrivske in November 2019.
The Normandy Four leaders (Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia) during their Paris summit on December 9, 2019, supported the agreement reached within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group on the pullback of forces and means at three more sites.