MINSK, November 12. /TASS/. The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission has confirmed the pullback of forces near Petrovskoye — the last of the three previously agreed pilot areas in Donbass, Russia’s special envoy, Boris Gryzlov said on Tuesday after a meeting of the Minsk Contact Group for a settlement in the east of Ukraine.
"The Contact Group has discussed issues related with the disengagement of forces near Petrovskoye and, in general, with the level of security on the disengagement line," he said. "Russia welcomes the OSCE SMM statement made at the meeting of the Contact Group to the effect that the two sides completed the disengagement procedures near Petrovskoye."
"On previous occasions we were able to see attempts by some members of the ‘party of war mongers’, Ukrainian nationalists to block, to upset the disengagement of forces," Gryzlov said. "It is important to ensure that the authorities in Kiev should not cater to the radicals’ demands."
Gryzlov described as "impermissible" media speculations that the Ukrainian National Guard and police units should be deployed in the disengagement areas.
"Previously such statements were put forward by Ukrainian radicals. Now they are being made by officials," he remarked.
Gryzlov pointed out that Luganskaya, Zolotoye and Petrovskoye were merely three pilot areas.
"Against the backdrop of de-escalation there the situation along the rest of the disengagement line has showed no signs of improvement," he stressed. "OSCE observers register fire attacks, mostly by the Ukrainian armed forces. The latest ones against residential areas in Gorlovka and Yasinovataya posed particular threat to civilians. Such incidents require investigation and punishment of those responsible."
"Kiev is obliged to ensure the observance of ceasefire," Gryzlov concluded.
The pullback of forces near Petrovskoye finalized the process of creating three security zones along the disengagement line: near Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Luganskaya. The agreement to create them was achieved by Ukraine and the Donetsk and Lugansk republics back in September 2016. Disengagement in the former two had been completed promptly, but the Ukrainian forces returned there soon. Disengagement resumed in the summer of 2019. The conflicting parties pulled back their forces near Luganskaya on June 30 and near Zolotoye in early November.
The disengagement of forces in Donbass is one of the conditions for a summit meeting of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) Kiev has repeatedly called for lately.