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Commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Regarding the Activities of the Trilateral Contact Group in the Context of the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of September 2014 and February 2015
16 April 2015 15:01

In accordance with paragraph 13 of the Complex of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015, yesterday the Ukrainian side submitted to the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of the representatives of Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Russian Federation a list of candidates for participation in subsequent consultations of its working subgroups on security, political, socioeconomic and humanitarian issues.

Thereby, Ukraine’s commitment to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements has once again been reaffirmed. This includes activating the operation of the Trilateral Contact Group and establishing thematic subgroups under its auspices, which should immediately start meaningful and effective discussions of the practical aspects of implementation of the Minsk documents.

The information on Ukraine’s readiness for the initiation of operation of working subgroups was specially brought to the attention of the Normandy Format partners at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic and the Russian Federation in Berlin on April 13, 2015.

We highly commend and support the persistent efforts of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini aimed at ensuring the effective operation of the Trilateral Contact Group. In this context, we call on all participants of consultations to complete the consideration of Ambassador Tagliavini’s proposals regarding organizational modalities of operation of subgroups as soon as possible.

At the same time, we would welcome assistance from our partners in the Normandy Format and the EU regarding the operation of working subgroups.

We proceed from the understanding that the priorities of the working subgroup on security issues should be: the soonest approval and facilitation of practical implementation of additional effective measures capable of ensuring the regime of sustained and comprehensive ceasefire; completing the process of withdrawal of heavy weapons of 100 mm caliber or more, with subsequent withdrawal of tanks, guns with caliber below 100 mm and mortars below 85 mm caliber under OSCE monitoring and verification.

We consider the maximum facilitation of effective monitoring and verification activity by the OSCE and its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine as an important area of operation of this subgroup, primarily as regards ensuring unhindered access, freedom of movement and security of the Organization’s observers.

We also reaffirm our readiness to discuss the topic of holding local elections in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine under Ukrainian legislation and in accordance with OSCE standards, as well as other aspects of political process. With that, we believe that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights should also take an active part in the discussion of modalities of holding local elections in the specified districts.

We assert the need for aiming the primary efforts of the workgroup on humanitarian issues at the resolution of the problem of immediate release of hostages and illegally held persons under the agreed “all for all” formula, and at ensuring unhindered access, delivery, storage and distribution of humanitarian assistance in the affected districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine (paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Complex of Measures, accordingly).

The issues of economic reconstruction of Donbas and the necessary practical steps in this regard should be the priorities of operation of the working subgroup on socioeconomic issues.

The Ukrainian side calls on the signatories of the Minsk Agreements to take exhaustive steps to ensure meaningful operation of the Trilateral Contact Group and its thematic subgroups.

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