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OSCE mission welcomes New Year ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine

December 28, 2018, 4:40 UTC+3 KIEV

Ambassador Apakan expressed hope that the ceasefire would minimize risk to the civilian population

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OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) building in Lugansk

OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) building in Lugansk

© Alexander Kravchenko/TASS

KIEV, December 28. /TASS/. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) welcomed the deal to establish the New Year ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, reached by the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement.

The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and to the Trilateral Contact Group, Martin Sajdik, and the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), Ertugrul Apakan, issued a joint statement on the issue on Thursday.

"A meaningful, sustainable and long-lasting ceasefire requires that orders to cease fire are issued, discipline is maintained and the safe and secure access of the OSCE SMM throughout Ukraine is ensured in accordance with its mandate," the statement quoted Sajdik as saying. "Promises made to people in eastern Ukraine must be kept."

Ambassador Apakan, in his turn, expressed hope that the recommitment would minimize risk to the civilian population.

"This time of year is a time for hope and healing, when families come together and the gift of life is renewed and embraced," he said. "They want and deserve peace."

On December 27, members of the security subgroup of the Contact Group on settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine agreed on a New Year ceasefire. According to a negotiator representing the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, Vladislav Deinego, the ceasefire will begin on December 29.

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