Kyiv demands withdrawal of illegal armed groups and weapons from Donbas - Olifer
The Ukrainian side in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) has said that the "spring truce" is not observed in occupied Donbas and continues to insist on the withdrawal of illegal armed groups, weapons and equipment from the military operations zone.
"Despite the declared 'spring truce' the security situation remains alarming. As in the previous 'Christmas truce,' first there was a decrease in the number of ceasefire violations. According to the UN, no civilian deaths were recorded in Donbas in January-February 2018, but stable peace has not been ensured," Darka Olifer, spokeswoman for Ukraine's second president Leonid Kuchma, who represents the country in the TCG, wrote on her Facebook page after the TCG's work on Wednesday, March 14.
She said that 29 shelling attacks from the side of Russia and illegal armed groups were recorded from March 5 to March 12. At the same time, nine weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements were used, in particular, 80mm and 120mm mortars.
"For the sake of comprehensive peace on the territory of the Donbas, the Russian Federation must influence militants operating in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions and cease the supply of equipment, weapons, fuel and mercenaries through an uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border, ensure unhindered access for OSCE SMM employees to the entire area of the occupied Donbas, including border areas, and withdraw all illegal armed formations, armament and equipment from Donbas," Olifer said.
She said that compliance with the whole package of the Minsk agreements was "the key to further settlement of the situation in Donbas."