MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic again called on all sides of the Ukrainian conflict on Wednesday to adhere to the Minsk agreements.
He urged all the sides to continue complying with the Minsk agreements after a meeting with Martin Sajdik, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
Dacic strongly condemned the violation of the ceasefire regime and the recent incidents in Kiev, expressing hope that this will not affect the continuation of the democratic political process.
The ceasefire, monitoring the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the normalisation of people’s life, settlement of humanitarian issues, the resumption of the political process and the local elections would be a sign that the war is stopping and peace is being established, Dacic said.
The OSCE chairperson also said it was important to ensure the conditions for the SMM personnel in which they could freely and safely fulfil their mandates and to monitor the weapons’ withdrawal.
According to him, the OSCE would insist on introducing the system of verification of the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the ceasefire regime with the participation of representatives of both sides of the conflict. In the meantime, he said, the parties cannot agree on how it all will be checked. That’s why there are different interpretations - when and who broke the truce, whether heavy weapons have been pulled out. The organisation insists on establishing more observation posts, Dacic said.
The OSCE cannot accept the fact that all are declaratively in favour of peace, the same as in the ‘Normandy format’, but then the situation is different in the conflict territory, Dacic said.
He said that a meeting of the troika (of the OSCE chair countries: Switzerland - 2014, Serbia - 2015 and Germany - 2016) will be held in Germany on September 19 to continue the discussion on the situation in Ukraine with senior OSCE officials dealing with this issue.
On February 12, 2015, marathon peace negotiations resulted in a new ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The 16-hour talks went on through the night, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A previous Minsk ceasefire deal collapsed within days of its signing on 5 September.
The Minsk agreements envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.