EU welcomes disengagement of forces, hardware in Zolote, expects active steps from Russia to implement Minsk accords – Mogherini's press secretary
The European Union welcomes the disengagement of forces and hardware in Zolote of Luhansk region and expects that Russia will also take active steps to fully implement the Minsk agreements.
The corresponding statement was made in Brussels on Thursday by press secretary of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Maja Kocijancic.
"We welcome the progress reached in the context of the Trilateral Contact Group on the disengagement of forces and hardware in Zolote and the practical steps already taken. Should ongoing negotiations lead to the beginning of the disengagement in Petrivske, too, this would be another positive development," she said.
The spokeswoman emphasized that Ukraine had displayed a constructive approach to move forward in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. "We expect also Russia to proactively take positive steps and to use its considerable influence over the armed formations it backs to meet the Minsk commitments in full," the EU said.
Kocijancic said the OSCE SMM "remains a source of reliable information of the situation on the ground. It must have safe, secure, unconditional und unimpeded access to the entire territory of Ukraine, including to ensure proper monitoring of the disengaged areas and their vicinity."
As reported, disengagement began in Zolote on October 29. The date for disengagement in Petrivske was approved at the Minsk talks on the same day.
On October 31, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the disengagement of Donbas forces and hardware is due to begin in Petrivske in Luhansk region on November 4.
"We have launched the disengagement process in Katerynivka [Zolote]. If everything is quiet in Petrivske for a week – seven consecutive days of truce are required – then it seems we should start the disengagement in Petrivske on November 4, as well," Zelensky said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv on Thursday after a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.