President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, April 11, paid a visit to the zone of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas, speaking of ongoing efforts on setting up new disengagement sites and toward restoring peace in the country's east.
"Glad that the disengagement helped reduce shelling. We're seeing the result. The troops are seeing the result. We're working to coordinate new sites and bring peace to the Donbas land," Zelensky said while visiting disengagement site No.3 near Bohdanivka and Petrivske as reported by the Presidential Office press service.
The president was briefed about Joint Forces' efforts to monitor movement of enemy units in the area before visiting one of the Ukrainian bases where Zelensky handed awards to three distinguished Ukrainian troops, thanking them for their service.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Zelensky appealed to the military to protect their life and health.
As UNIAN reported earlier, forces and means of the warring sides disengaged in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska in June 2019, near Zolote – in late October, and in the area of Bohdanivka and Petrivske – in November.
Normandy Four leaders during their latest summit in Paris on December 9, 2019, voiced support for the agreement reached within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on the separation of forces and assets at three more sites. Previously it was agreed that the next stage of disengagement should take place before the end of March 2020.
On February 12, participants in the TCG stopped short of agreeing that one of the three new sites will be the area near the village of Hnutove in Donetsk region.
On March 11, the OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine and the TCG, Ambassador Heidi Grau, said that representatives of Ukraine and Russia had agreed in Minsk to submit within a week their positions on possible compromises on the issue.
On March 13, Head of Ukrainian President's Office Andriy Yermak said that consultations on the designation of three more disengagement sites were ongoing.
On April 9, Ambassador Heidi Grau, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and the TCG, said that the Group's members – representatives of Russia and Ukraine – had not yet identified additional sites for disengagement of forces.