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30 Jan 2019

Sajdik: No alternative to Minsk agreements on Ukraine

Sajdik: No alternative to Minsk agreements on Ukraine

MINSK, 30 January (BelTA) – I remain committed to the Minsk agreements, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik said as he talked to the press after the meeting of the TCG ‎and its Working Groups in Minsk on 30 January 2019, BelTA has learned.

“Drawing on my more than three-year work experience, I would like to stress once again my full commitment to the Minsk agreements and personal conviction that they are needed and have no alternative with regards to the peaceful settlement to the conflict in the east of Ukraine. It is our common task, mine and that of the coordinators of the working groups and all participants of the Minsk process, to do everything necessary for their full implementation,” the Ambassador said.

The diplomat noted that ensuring security and decent living conditions for people in the conflict zone is one of the main priorities of the TCG. Last year the number of casualties among civilian population was drastically reduced, to its lowest level since the beginning of the conflict. This trend remains in place this year. At the same time, according to preliminary data from OSCE SMM, since the beginning of the year till 28 January there were no civilian casualties. According to Martin Sajdik, this is a clear proof that the work of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk yields results.

The special representative recalled that diplomatic advisers of the Normandy Four had a video-conference call on 25 January during which they decided to give priority to humanitarian issues: improve the conditions for crossing the line of contact, exchange held individuals, preserve vital civilian infrastructure, and many other issues. These themes have become a subject of discussion at the meetings of the TCG and its working groups in Minsk on 30 January.

The Economic Working Group discussed the urgent issues of water supply, including the preparation for the audit of the Voda Donbasa company. According to Martin Sajdik, the audit may last for one year. Among other things, the group  worked out the issues of payment of pensions to residents living in the certain areas of Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast. The diplomat stressed that today was the first meeting of the Economic Working Group chaired by its new coordinator, former German Ambassador to Russia Ulrich Brandenburg.

The Security Working Group focused on the general state of security in the conflict zone and observance of the ceasefire. The Humanitarian Working Group discussed, among other things, the exchange of held individuals. The Political Working Group continued the discussion of the ‘Steinmeier formula’, amnesty and the modalities of local elections in the certain areas of Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast.

The next session of the Trilateral Contact Group is scheduled for 13 February.

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