KYIV, 27 March 2020 – The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Grau, made the following statement to the press after the meeting of the TCG and its working groups:
“The regular meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group and its Working Groups were held through video conferencing from 24 to 26 March due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and related restrictions imposed by both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
I call on the sides to the conflict to respond to UN Secretary-General’s A. Guterres appeal for a global ceasefire in connection with the coronavirus outbreak to stop all military hostilities and impose a cessation of fire.
Joining the Statement by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Edi Rama and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, I also call on the sides to exert their utmost efforts to ensure that measures taken against the coronavirus outbreak do not become an additional obstacle to the full and unimpeded access of the SMM throughout the territory of Ukraine in accordance with its mandate.
The unhindered crossing of the line of contact is also important for the activities of international humanitarian organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Security Working Group discussions focused on identification of additional disengagement areas of forces and hardware. However, further efforts are still required to address this issue.
While discussing mine action the Working Group participants shared the common view regarding its essential necessity, underlining in particular the importance of mine clearance of civilian facilities and their surroundings.
The Humanitarian Working Group considered the issues regarding opening of the new entry-exit crossing points on the line of contact in the Luhansk region. Preparations for the next exchange of detainees were also discussed.
The Economic Working Group concentrated on the issues of water supplies across the line of contact in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (CADR and CALR). The issue of pension payments was also considered.
The Political Working Group discussed aspects related to the special status of CADR and CALR, as foreseen by the Minsk Agreements.
The participants also took note of the fact that the project of the Consultative Council was discussed in the "Normandy Format".
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