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OSCE holding no talks with Kiev on deploying its mission to border with Russia

September 14, 14:56 UTC+3 KIEV
In August, speaker for Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service, Oleg Slobodyan, said the service was drawing up a scenario to restore control over the state border in Donbass
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A poster in Donetsk (archive)

A poster in Donetsk (archive)

© Valentin Sprinchak/TASS

KIEV, September 14. /TASS/. The special representative of the OSCE, Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine, Martin Sajdik, has said no negotiations are being conducted on deploying the organization’s mission to the Donbass region on the border with Russia.

"There aren’t any negotiations of this sort," he told TASS. Sajdik declined to comment on Kiev’s statements on its plans to create buffer zones on the border with Russia.

In August, speaker for Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service, Oleg Slobodyan, said the service was drawing up a scenario to restore control over the state border in the Donbass region. According to it, a buffer zone monitored by OSCE would be set up first, and later the area would come under the Ukrainian army’s control.

"I cannot comment on an idea that I have not read," Sajdik said. "I do not follow everything someone says here, because 46 million people say a lot of things. That is why I cannot react to everything that is said here. I know what we are doing."

When asked whether Kiev’s attempts to link elections in Donbass to restoration of control over the border were appropriate, Sajdik noted that there are many different points of view on this issue.

"I think there is some misunderstanding on this point - border control. This is not enshrined in the Minsk agreements, so there are numerous voices from the Ukrainian side, just as in all countries, there are various opinions. However, we need to adhere to an official point of view. There is no such mechanism in the Minsk accords," the OSCE envoy emphasized.

He added though that it would be useful to begin discussing "the mechanism for transferring border control" right now. "If we take a pragmatic approach, of course, the question arises as to what will happen after these elections… I think we should start talking about this," Sajdik said.

Minsk agreements on border control

Paragraph 9 of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements that was signed by the parties to the conflict after it was approved by the Normandy Four leaders on February 12, 2015, stipulates that restoring full control over the state border by the Ukrainian government in the entire conflict zone is to begin on the first day after the local elections and end after a comprehensive political settlement.

For its part, Paragraph 11 provides for a Constitutional reform with a new Constitution coming into force implying decentralization as a key element (taking into account the distinctive features of the separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, coordinated with representatives of these districts) and enactment of a permanent law on the special status of the separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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