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Contact Group focuses on demining, creation of new security zones in Donbass — OSCE envoy

December 07, 2016, 20:57 UTC+3 MINSK

Special attention was drawn to defining new areas for disengaging troops, says Martin Sajdik

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© Nikolai Lazarenko/Ukraine's presidential press-service/TASS, archive

MINSK, December 7. /TASS/. The Contact Group, seeking to find a solution to the Donbass conflict, discussed security issues on Wednesday, focusing on the creation of new areas to disengage forces and to clear from mines the area along the contact line, Ambassador Martin Sajdik, the OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine, said after the end of a regular round of peace talks in Minsk.

"Special attention was drawn to defining new areas for disengaging troops and weapons along the contact line in Donbass," Sajdik said, adding the Contact Group had discussed "the issue of accelerating the implantation of the Contact Group’s decisions in minesweeping efforts," along with "efforts aimed at easing tensions along the contact line."

Steinmeier formula

Members of the political subgroup reporting to the Ukraine Contact Group in charge of peace settlement of the armed civil conflict in Donbass, proved unable on Wednesday get over to the discussion of the so-called Steinmeier formula because of the stance taken by Kiev government representatives.

Vladislav Deinego, the plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) said it upon completion of consultations in Minsk.

"The political subgroup was unable to move farther than a discussion of the agenda," Deinego said. "It’s saddening the subgroup failed to take up the Steinmeier formula."

"In the light of it, a decision was taken to put off discussion of the problem to the meeting of the Contact Group where the representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics insisted once again on adopting procedural regulations (for the Group’s activity - TASS)," he said.

In a bid to tap a way out of the situation wherein Kiev is blocking a law on granting a permanent special status to the Donbass republics, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a proposal for a special pattern of effectuation of the law.

Under this pattern, the special status will be given to the region first on a provisional basis on the Election Day there. It will turn into a permanent one after the OSCE publishes a report that contains confirmation of legitimacy of the voting.

Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four countries endorsed the idea at a meeting in Paris on October 2, 2015. It was branded ‘the Steinmeier formula then.

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