Sajdik calls on parties to conflict in Donbas to continue fulfilling obligations under TCG's decision on disengagement of forces, hardware

The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik, following the meeting of the Group and its working groups in Minsk on Tuesday, noted the implementation of the measures provided for by the decision of the TCG on the disengagement of forces and hardware at three pilot sites in Donbas, and also called on the parties to the conflict to continue to take full responsibility with regard to the obligations undertaken.

"As you know, on November 9, 2019 the sides launched the renewed withdrawal of their forces and hardware in the Petrivske area. The representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk region, for their part, announced the completion of this withdrawal on the same day, while the Ukrainian side made its announcement yesterday, November 11, 2019. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission expects the sides' formal notification of the completion of withdrawal tomorrow at the latest. Also, not later than tomorrow, demining works shall start in the Petrivske area," a press statement of Special Representative Sajdik after the regular Meeting of Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on 12 November 2019 posted by the Office of the OSCE's special representative in the TCG on Tuesday evening reads.

He also noted that in the Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement area, the repair works on the bridge across the Siverskyi Donets river continue successfully. They are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

In the Zolote disengagement area, demining works are in progress.

"I call on the sides to continue taking full responsibility in fulfilling their obligations under the TCG Framework Decision relating to disengagement of forces and hardware. This is an important factor for strengthening mutual trust aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east of Ukraine," the statement says.

He said that all these issues, as well as general security situation in the conflict area, were the focus of the Trilateral Contact Group and its Security Working Group yesterday.

He also informed that the Economic Working Group discussed water delivery issues, mobile communication provided by Vodafone Ukraine, the payment of pensions, as well as the ecology.

"The Political Working Group paid particular attention to the implementation of the 'Steinmeier formula.' In this context, the modalities of local elections in the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine were duly considered," Sajdik informed.

As per the sides' prior agreement, the meeting of the Humanitarian Working Group was not held on Tuesday due to earlier commitments of the Coordinator, Ambassador Toni Frisch. In this regard, Sajdik expressed hope that the Group will take its work forward in the videoconference format to ensure progress in this field, which is crucially important for the population.