UNITED NATIONS, October 14. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed the hope the ceasefire regime in Donbass will be followed by progress in the implementation of political provisions of the Minsk agreements, including decentralization of Ukraine, the Office of the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General said on Tuesday after Ban’s meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin.
"The Secretary-General welcomed the 2 October meeting of the Normandy leaders in Paris and expressed hope that the ongoing ceasefire and the recent withdrawal of weaponry by the sides would be quickly followed up by progress on the outstanding political, security and humanitarian issues, as per the Minsk agreements," the office said in a press communique.
"They also exchanged views on the need to ensure unrestricted and unconditional access for critical humanitarian assistance and freedom of movement in eastern Ukraine and on the work of the UN’s Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine," the document said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Klimkin told TASS the ceasefire regime was being observed in many Donbass localities but the situation is still fragile. He noted however that the rare instances of ceasefire violation might hamper de-escalation efforts.
The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.
According to the United Nations data, the death toll from the conflict in southeastern Ukraine was 7,883 people as of late September. As many as 17,600 were wounded. The number of internally displaced persons exceeded 1.5 million. A total of 1.1 million more found shelter in other countries, primarily in Russia.