22:11 15.11.2017

Kyiv insists on OSCE SMM's access to uncontrolled section of Russian-Ukrainian state border

3 min read
Kyiv insists on OSCE SMM's access to uncontrolled section of Russian-Ukrainian state border

The Ukrainian side at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk continues to insist on the provision of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission's (SMM) access to the section of the Russian-Ukrainian state border outside Kyiv's control, Darka Olifer, the spokesperson for former Ukrainian president and Ukraine's envoy to the group Leonid Kuchma, said.

"The Ukrainian side insists on provision of full access for the OSCE SMM to the entire territory of the certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including the section of the Russian-Ukrainian border outside Ukraine's control," Olifer said on her Facebook page on Wednesday evening following a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.

Kyiv is also demanding that the work of the Zolote checkpoint in the Luhansk region be unblocked promptly, "the launch of which was agreed by leaders of the Normandy Four over a year ago," she said.

The Trilateral Contact Group also focused on a range of security issues, including instances of shelling of populated localities and civilian infrastructure facilities, in particular, the Donetsk filtration plant, she said.

"Shelling of vitally important civilian infrastructure facilities, in particular, instances of shelling of the Donetsk filtration plant recorded by the OSCE, the consequences of which may result in a humanitarian and natural disaster, are particularly concerning," she said.

"In particular, it applies to the agreement to refrain from shelling and attacks on the Donetsk filtering plant, carry out demining near the plant and approaches to it, provide security guarantees for the plant's employees, repair teams and OSCE SMM monitors," Olifer said.

The Trilateral Contact Group confirmed its full commitment to the ceasefire, which was announced in connection with the beginning of the school year, and unconditional implementation of additional measures aimed at ensuring a comprehensive and stable open-ended ceasefire, including the execution of all relevant orders, she said.

"The Ukrainian side in this context confirmed its full commitment to the obligations it assumed," Olifer said.

Speaking of strikes on civilian infrastructure facilities, Olifer said that "the populated localities of Hranytne, Zaitseve, Maryinka, Vodyane, Shyrokyne, Avdiivka, and Trokhizbenka were shelled using weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements just recently."

During the work of the Trilateral Contact Group, the Ukrainian side also condemned the statement made by the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, Igor Plotnitsky, who, according to Kyiv, doubts the restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty in Donbas, Olifer said. "Such statements contradict the Minsk Agreements and hinder the peace process," she said.

Additionally, work on release of hostages is continuing in the humanitarian subgroup. "We're taking all possible measures to ensure people's return to their families and loved one in the near future," she said.

The Ukrainian side brought up the following issues on the agenda of the political subgroup: the cancellation of Russia's recognition of documents issues by authorities of the self-proclaimed Donbas republics, the return of Ukrainian state and private property in Donbas without any conditions, forgoing the ruble zone, and establishing the border in the part of Donbas outside Ukraine's control, she said.

"We also insist on creating a special working subgroup on returning the uncontrolled section of the Russian-Ukrainian border to Ukraine's control," Olifer said.

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