Grau: number of ceasefire violations in Donbas reaches peak, work of OSCE observers complicated
Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas, Ambassador Heidi Grau announced a sharp increase in ceasefire violations, as well as an increase in cases of obstacles to the free movement of the OSCE SMM, which complicates the implementation of the mandate by the mission in over the past two weeks.
"The meetings of the TCG and its Working Groups took place against the backdrop of an increased number of ceasefire violations. According to the SMM, the number of violations recorded over the past two weeks has reached its highest level this year and was three times higher than over the same period before. This is also having a negative impact on our work," Grau said in a press statement following the meeting of the TCG at the level of heads of delegations on April 14.
According to her, "the last two weeks have also seen a significant increase in restrictions and impediments to the freedom of movement of the OSCE SMM and the fulfilment of its mandate." "Nine out of ten of the SMM's long-range UAV flights have been affected by jamming," Grau said.
She also said that "the discussion with regard to the Coordination Mechanism for Responding to Ceasefire Violations will continue at future meetings of the Security Working Group." "However, it should be noted that effective implementation of this mechanism will only be possible if there is political will to significantly reduce the number of ceasefire violations on both sides of the line of contact," the OSCE SMM Special Representative said.
She also said that "procedural issues dominated the discussions of the participants in the meeting of the Political Working Group, which hindered progress towards the development of an action plan in full compliance with the Minsk agreements under the tasking given by the TCG."
According to Grau, "the Humanitarian Working Group focused on removing obstacles to the simultaneous opening of new crossing points near Zolote and Shchastia of the Luhansk region."
The meeting of the Economic Working Group focused on provision of pension payments to persons with limited mobility residing in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (CADLR) of Ukraine.
In addition, important topics of water supply across the contact line in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, environmental issues and provision of mobile communications in CADLR were duly considered.