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OSCE leaders should join Ukraine peace process — Belarus president

July 21, 2015, 15:10 UTC+3
The organizations’s role in the process of resolving the Ukrainian crisis is insufficient, Alexander Lukashenko believes
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Nikolskiy

MINSK, July 21. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday he believed that leaders of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) 57 member states should actively join the peace process in eastern Ukraine.

"On the one hand, the OSCE is a very important organization which is relevant today when a military conflict has actually blazed up in Europe and there is a war going on between opposing forces," Lukashenko said at a meeting with Ivica Dacic, the Serbian foreign minister and currently the rotating chairman of the OSCE.

On the other hand, he noted that the OSCE’s role in the process of resolving the Ukrainian crisis was insufficient.

"If there is a war, they [OSCE heads of state] should come together, discuss the problem and propose some solutions," Lukashenko said.

The president noted that the OSCE was trying to do its best to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine. "But with those powers the OSCE has at the moment and without an impulse from heads of state, the OSCE will hardly be able to do anything in this situation," he said.

Various formats for peace talks on Ukraine, including so-called "Normandy format" meetings between leaders and foreign ministry officials representing Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France alongside negotiations in Berlin and Minsk, could be united in one organization — the OSCE, Lukashenko added.

Dacic praised Belarus’ role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine. "Here, in Minsk, numerous agreements and arrangements have been reached. The Contact Group and its subgroups are holding their meetings. Belarus has made a significant contribution to the peace process," he said.

On Tuesday, envoys of Moscow, Kiev, the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and the OSCE gathered in the Belarusian capital Minsk to continue Contact Group meetings reviewing progress of the ceasefire. Discussions include four working subgroups that were set up to deal with political, security, economic and humanitarian issues.

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