Commentary of Oleksii Reznikov, Representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group, regarding the disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske

Commentary of Oleksii Reznikov, Representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group, regarding the disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske
October 13, 2019.

Oleksii Reznikov, Representative of Ukraine in the working group on political issues of the Trilateral Contact Group

Commentary regarding the disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske:

“In recent days, the Russian official on all levels have actively replicated the distorted information about the alleged disruption by the Ukrainian side of the process of disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske, which was agreed in Minsk on October 1, 2019.

In this regard, the Ukrainian side states the following.

Firstly, the agreements regarding the disengagement of forces and hardware in three pilot disengagement areas (Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske) were reached between the Ukrainian and the Russian sides in Minsk back on September 21, 2016, when the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) relating to disengagement of forces and hardware was signed. The above-mentioned decision became the integral part of the Minsk agreements.

Secondly, the working Timeframe of activities related to disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske, agreed in Minsk on October 1, 2019, in no way repeals the provisions of the TCG Framework Decision relating to disengagement of forces and hardware of 21.09.2016, in particular the paragraph 2, which clearly defines the necessity of adhering to the full silence during seven days for each disengagement area as a precondition for the beginning of disengagement.
The above-mentioned paragraph of the Framework Decision also contains an important reference, which says that the seven-day silence in the disengagement areas should be verified (confirmed) by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine.

On the contrary, the OSCE SMM, which according to its mandate approved by all the OSCE participating states is authorized to monitor and verify the implementation of the Minsk agreements, continues to state in its daily and weekly reports starting from October 1, 2019 the ongoing ceasefire violations inside the disengagement areas of Zolote and Petrivske by the illegal armed formations.

Therefore, the disengagement of forces and hardware in the areas of Zolote and Petrivske will be possible only after the OSCE SMM’s verification of the seven-day silence inside the disengagement areas of Zolote and Petrivske.

Thirdly, the process of disengagement of forces and hardware will be conducted in a synchronized manner, using a ‘mirror’ approach under the OSCE SMM monitoring.
The unilateral implementation of the Minsk agreements by the Ukrainian side, in particular, the TCG Framework Decision relating to disengagement of forces and hardware, is impossible.

We call on all sides to strictly comply with their obligations under the Minsk agreements”.

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