14:17 01 Oct 2020

The OSCE representative stated that negotiations on the exchange of prisoners in the TСG ended in vain

The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and the TCG, Ambassador Heidi Grau, stated that after regular meetings between the TCG and its working groups, discussions on mutual release and exchange of conflict-related individuals had ended in vain.

Grau's statement was published on the OSCE website.

"The Humanitarian working group considered issues related to the mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees. The discussion did not bring results. It is unacceptable that political considerations are preconditions for resolving humanitarian issues," Grau said.

She also stated that there was no positive effect on the TCG's activities because of the ceasefire, which continues to run in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.

"The ceasefire in the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine continues to be effective. This has a beneficial impact on the living conditions of the civilian population. However, this has not yet had a positive effect on the activity of the TCG; moreover, a lot of time was spent today (September 30 – ed.) on procedural issues," the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office said.

Grau informed that the Security Working Group discussed the effect of "Measures to strengthen the ceasefire", including how the coordination mechanism functions to respond to ceasefire violations along with the general situation in the conflict zone and providing security guarantees on the ground for repairing civilian infrastructure. They will continue discussing this issue at the next meeting, she said.

Grau noted that preparations for the simultaneous opening of two new entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs)  in the settlements of Zolote and Shchastia in the Luhansk region are going according to plan. They will be open, as expected, by November 10.

She also stated that the discussions in the Political Working Group on the Verkhovna Rada resolution "On the appointment of regular local elections in 2020" interfered consultations on the agenda, including the peculiarities of self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO), amnesty, and modalities of local elections in ORDLO.

As reported, on September 30, a regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group was held through video conferencing with the delegations of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the OSCE moderation taking part.


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