A regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE) was held in the format of a video conference.
At the working group on security issues, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Yaşar Halit Çevik noted that the parties adhere to a full and comprehensive ceasefire.
The OSCE SMM observers have not recorded any civilian casualties since the declaration of ceasefire regime.
The OSCE Special Representative to the TCG Heidi Grau highlighted the progress made on security issues.
The Trilateral Contact Group fully agreed on a framework decision on mine action, which will form the basis for future humanitarian demining.
The coordinates of 19 priority demining sites were agreed. The twentieth site near Zolote will be demined as part of the opening of an additional checkpoint in the area, which is preliminary scheduled for November.
In addition, the next four areas of disengagement of forces and assets were agreed in the TCG; the security group was commissioned to develop a detailed plan and finalize the draft supplement to the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on Disengagement of Forces and Assets of September 21, 2016.
Heidi Grau thanked the parties for complying with the ceasefire regime and urged them to do their utmost to maintain it.
The parties agreed on the need to continue to observe “silence”.
Within the working group on humanitarian issues, the Ukrainian party has completed all necessary procedures by providing the OSCE with information on detainees requested by the other party in the framework of mutual release.
Ukraine has been waiting for information on the condition and whereabouts of the requested detainees held in the temporarily occupied territories for more than a month already.
The OSCE Coordinator Toni Frisch stated the inadmissibility of linking the process of release of detainees with outside issues. He called on all participants to complete the process of exchanging lists for the mutual release of detainees and withdrew other issues as the negotiation process was blocked for political reasons.
Denys Kazanskyi, representative of certain districts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine in the Ukrainian delegation, appealed to other participants in the negotiations with a call to unblock the process of mutual release of detainees, given the hardships experienced by people in captivity.
Within the group on political issues, the parties discussed the possibility of unblocking the negotiation process. Representatives of the Russian Federation in the TCG insist on amendments to the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine № 795 of July 15, 2020.
The Ukrainian party has repeatedly shown a constructive position. Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kravchuk reminded that he had submitted a letter to the Verkhovna Rada regarding the possibility of considering the compliance of the resolution with the Minsk agreements and was now waiting for a response from the Ukrainian Parliament. However, the Russian party continues to postpone most of the issues on the agenda.
Head of the Ukrainian delegation – President of Ukraine in 1991-1994 Leonid Kravchuk called on the participants of the consultations not to bind the implementation of the agreements reached at the previous meeting of the TCG on demining areas and areas of disengagement of forces and assets to the consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of his appeal as regards the compliance of the resolution on the appointment of local elections with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. According to him, consideration of the relevant issue by the Ukrainian Parliament provides for a number of procedures, the implementation of which takes time.
The Ukrainian delegation rejected the attempt of the Russian delegation to assess the activities of the Verkhovna Rada, the Government and the President of Ukraine.
“The TCG is not empowered to assess the activities of any government. This is not the competence of the TCG,” Leonid Kravchuk stressed.
Within the group on socio-economic issues, the issue of payments for former employees of Ukrzaliznytsia was discussed. In particular, Ukraine extended the period of payment of the deposited salary through the Oschadbank’s “Shvydka Kopiyka” quick transfer system until mid-October to guarantee the payment of salaries to former employees of the Donetsk and Luhansk directorates of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC. It concerns almost 4700 people.
The Ukrainian party called for the establishment of an expert commission with the participation of international experts to monitor the environmental situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (including the territories controlled by Kyiv).
The Ukrainian delegation also included representatives of certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, who are currently internally displaced persons.
The next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group is scheduled for September 16.