09:25 18.03.2021

Humanitarian demining, opening of checkpoints in Donbas may start by Easter, if Russia agrees Ukraine's proposal – Reznikov

2 min read
Humanitarian demining, opening of checkpoints in Donbas may start by Easter, if Russia agrees Ukraine's proposal – Reznikov

The process of humanitarian demining and the opening of entry-exit checkpoints in Donbas near Schastia and Zolote may start already by Easter holidays, if the Russian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on conflict resolution (TCG) in Donbas agrees the relevant proposal of the Ukrainian delegation, First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov said.

"Oleksiy Reznikov suggested that on the eve of the Easter holidays, jointly take two steps: to start the process of 'humanitarian demining,' namely, demining the areas where cemeteries, infrastructure facilities (water, gas and electricity supply, and others) are located, where systematically carry out routine maintenance and other types of work; unblock the operation of the Schastia and Zolote entry-exit checkpoints. We are waiting for the relevant decisions of the Russian delegation," the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG said on its Facebook page following the results of regular negotiations on Wednesday, March 17.

According to the statement of Coordinator of the security subgroup of the head of the OSCE SMM, Ambassador Yaşar Halit Çevik, the mine action mechanism and the draft document on the demining of 19 new areas on the contact line, previously agreed upon during the Paris summit, are ready.

As noted, "the position of the Ukrainian delegation is unchanged: the basis of the settlement is the clear implementation of joint decisions adopted within the work of both formats and the TCG, which include the necessary mechanisms both for establishing a comprehensive ceasefire regime and for resolving the humanitarian and economic situation in the occupied territories, which later became the basis for the implementation of the political part of the agreements."

At the same time, according to Reznikov, who replaced head of the Ukrainian delegation Leonid Kravchuk this time, "the TCG must return to the trilateral format of Ukraine-OSCE-Russia negotiations, that is, without the participation of public 'experts' from ORDLO."

"The presence on the Russian side as a consultant of a citizen of Ukraine Maya Pirogova, who was sentenced in absentia by a Ukrainian court for participation in terrorist activities, is unacceptable," he said.

As reported, "the economic subgroup agreed that by March 26 the sides will provide lists of candidates for the working group on monitoring the environmental situation in ORDLO."

The regular TCG meeting is scheduled for March 31.

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