MINSK, BELARUS – A framework agreement on the disengagement of warring parties in Donbass was signed in Minsk earlier on September 21, the OSCE special representative in the Contact Group, Martin Sajdik, has confirmed.
He interrupted participation in the meeting especially to break the news to the media.
“I would like to share good news,” he told reporters. “A document on the disengagement of manpower and materiel has just been signed by the representatives of Ukraine and Russia and initialed by Donetsk and Lugansk delegates.
“A security zone will be created in three disengagement sections: Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Luganskaya. The text of the document will be published later today on the website of the country that holds the OSCE presidency.”
Security subgroup agrees on framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass
The next meeting of the Contact Group will be held on September 21
LUGANSK – Participants in the security subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis have agreed on the text of a framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass, Vladislav Deinego, the chief negotiator for the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), said on Tuesday.
“The text of the framework agreement has been completely agreed, including the first three areas of disengagement,” LuganskInformCenter quoted him as saying.
Following long talks, “The Ukrainian side has finally agreed with the OSCE-initiated compromise editions of the text of the framework agreement the LPR and DPR (the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic) approved back in August,” he said.
“Apart from that, the parties have agreed the OSCE-initiated disengagement of forces and weapons at three sections. It was initiated by the OSCE representative, Ambassador Ertugul Apakan at the meeting on September 7 and was approved by the representatives of the people’s republics on the same day,” Deinego said.
He expressed the hope that Ukraine’s representatives in other working subgroups will demonstrate constructive approach at the forthcoming meeting.
The next meeting of the Contact Group will be held on September 21 in the Belarusian capital city Minsk. During his recent visit to Kiev last week, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he hoped this time the parties would be able to agree further pullout of troops in a number of pilot areas.
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. To spur up the work of the Contact Group, four working subgroups were set up within it on four key aspects of the Minsk agreements, namely on issues of security; on political issues; on issues of prisoner exchange and refuges; and on social, humanitarian and economic aspects.
Ukrainian troops, militants to be disengaged within 13 days in three areas in Donbas
orces and equipment of the Ukrainian army and representatives of the separate areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be withdrawn from the contact line in Donbas within the next 13 days in three designated areas, as specified in the framework agreement achieved at the Trilateral Contact Group, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko has said.
“Yesterday, the Ukrainian negotiators achieved an agreement at the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. According to Ukrainian representatives, within the next 13 days the disengagement of forces will be done around Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrovske in order to make firings from small arms impossible,” Lysenko told a briefing conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
In a comment to Interfax-Ukraine Lysenko clarified that “the countdown of these 13 days will begin after the ceasefire regime has been strictly observed for one week” in the aforesaid areas.