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Opinions & Interviews

18 Jan 2018

Hope for accord in Ukrainian conflict mentioned in Minsk

Hope for accord in Ukrainian conflict mentioned in Minsk

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – The parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine will be able to reach an agreement even on the most complicated problems if there is political will, BelTA learned from the OSCE’s special representative in the trilateral contact group on Ukraine Martin Sajdik on 18 January.

Martin Sajdik noted that it had been nearly one month since the previous meeting of the contact group on Ukraine in Minsk but the work had not stopped in that period. According to the source, prisoners of war were exchanged on 27 December. The exchange took place after a 15-month break and demonstrated that the conflicting parties can reach an agreement even on the most complicated problems, provided there is political will, noted the diplomat.

Martin Sajdik also said that the subgroup on security affairs met on 10 January in a video conference. The subgroup discussed the observation of the ceasefire regime in the conflict zone due to Christmas and New Year celebrations. “There is no doubt that taking care of security and the necessary conditions for civilians in the conflict zone will be priorities for the trilateral contact group and its subgroups this year, too,” said Martin Sajdik.

During the negotiations in Minsk on 18 January the subgroup on humanitarian affairs spoke positively about the POW exchange on 27 December. “It is a great accomplishment. I hope it will positively influence the entire negotiation process. The subgroup discussed the next steps, too. I am deeply convinced that we should look forward and resolve the remaining problems in this area. Apart from that, it is necessary to take a look at problems of missing persons,” believes the OSCE representative.

The subgroup on security affairs mentioned a considerable decrease in ceasefire violations during the festive season. Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan mentioned the importance of withdrawal of heavy weapon systems and assets in this regard.

The subgroup on economic affairs continued discussing payments for water delivery as part of the Karbonit system. The subgroup on political affairs continued discussing the implementation of the so-called Steinmeier formula. Apart from that, the law on Donbass’ reintegration that the Ukrainian parliament had passed earlier was mentioned. Martin Sajdik noted that the discussion proceeded without seeing the final text of the law.

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