The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Heidi Grau, has urged the sides to continue making all necessary efforts to keep a sustainable and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas.
"I encourage the sides to continue making all necessary efforts to keep a sustainable and comprehensive ceasefire," she said in a press statement after the regular meetings of the TCG and its Working Groups held through video conferencing on August 19, 2020.
Read alsoRemains of Russian occupation victims exhumed from unmarked grave in Sloviansk"The participants of today's TCG meeting unanimously noted that the 'Measures to strengthen the ceasefire' agreed upon by them four weeks ago, have been working successfully," Grau said.
According to the official, since the entry into force of the "Measures" on July 27, 2020, the numbers of ceasefire violations have dropped to the lowest level ever recorded by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
"The security situation in the conflict zone has improved significantly, which in turn has had a positive impact on the civilians' daily life. This proves once again that concrete results can be achieved provided there is political will," she said.
In addition to this topic, participants of the meeting of the Security Working Group were engaged in developing an updated demining plan.
"They came close to agreement upon 20 demining areas, including areas near the entry-exit crossing points. I call on the participants of the TCG meeting to sign and implement this agreement without further conditions. Let us not forget that this is a matter of human lives," Grau said.
The Economic Working Group discussed current issues of water supplies in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, as well as environmental matters, focusing on the environmental condition of coal mines on both sides of the line of contact.
"The discussions of the Humanitarian Working Group focused on the mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees. All those responsible shall demonstrate goodwill to reach an early agreement on this issue," she said.
In addition, participants discussed in a constructive spirit the technical possibility of delivering humanitarian cargo in the Luhansk region across the line of contact.
Read alsoDonbas truce: Ukraine reports three ceasefire violations by enemy forces on Aug 19"The discussion of the Political Working Group was mainly devoted to the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine No. 795-IX 'On the appointment of regular local elections in 2020.' I regret that, for this reason, participants were unable to discuss the issues on the agenda, aimed at the implementation of the Minsk Agreements," she added.
Donbas truce: background
Parties to the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE) on the peace settlement in Donbas on July 22 agreed on a full and comprehensive ceasefire along the contact line from July 27.
The new ceasefire regime was enforced at 00:01 Kyiv time on July 27.
On the very first day of the newly-agreed truce, Russia's hybrid military forces mounted three attacks on Ukrainian positions. More provocations have been reported since.