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Regular meeting of Contact group completed in Minsk

On December 7, the meeting of the Trilateral contact group on the conflict’s peaceful settlement in the Donbass was held in Minsk. The meeting’s agenda included the prisoners’ exchange issues, implementation of the agreement on disengagement of forces and means, as well as consideration of the investigation results of the shelling in Makeevka on the night of October 27.

According to a source in the peace negotiations from Minsk, the subgroup on economic issues failed to begin its work again.

“The Ukrainian side continues to stubbornly insist on the inadmissibility of certain negotiators, choosing with whom to negotiate. Meanwhile, the question of the LPR’s disconnection from the water becomes critical, as well as the restoration of the railway spans, power lines, and the payment of pensions. Subgroup on the economy, the work of which Ukraine sabotages so hard, should seek a solution to these issues,” the source said.

According to the source, members of the Contact group in the course of today’s meeting discussed issues related to the shelling of Makeevka.

“The findings and evidence were provided, the JCCC, the OSCE and the Public Commission reports clearly indicate the fault of the Ukrainian side. But instead of providing the official conclusions of the investigation, it was suggested “to develop preventive measures to avoid this in the future based on this incident, “” the source commented.

The source pointed out that the 66-year-old captive Lugansk citizen Patoka, who was convicted and imprisoned in the Ukrainian prison, is released on bail. “With the support of the humanitarian subgroup’s coordinator the negotiators managed to secure the release of elderly and seriously ill person,” the source said.

At the same time, the Ukrainian side continues to accuse the DPR in the arrest of teenagers accused of subversive activities, while losing sight of their own guilt in the recruitment of these children.

“Realizing that the Ukrainian side is simply ignoring our voices, Daria Morozova gave humanitarian subgroup’s coordinator Tony Frisch a petition. It contains a parents’ request for assistance in the issue’s solution investigating the fact of Igor Ritsko’s involvement of minors to criminal activity. We hope that the parents’ request will be heard and the people who involved the children in criminal activity and exposed minors to the danger will be held accountable,” the source emphasized.

Another shelling in Donetsk People’s Republic led to a blackout of Donetsk filter plant and, as a consequence, a violation of the water supply in a number of settlements on both sides of the front line.

“The issue of deterioration of the situation on the contact line and the constant interruptions of water supply due to the AFU’s shelling was raised at today’s meeting by Denis Pushilin. Envoy stressed that DFS is the only source of water supply of the Donbass and the deliberate shelling of the area by Ukrainian armed forces violate not only the peace agreement, but also the international norms prohibiting willful deprivation of the civilian population of water,” the source noted.

Discussing the results of the meeting of the political subgroups, Denis Pushilin urged the participants of the negotiation process to adopt the Regulations proposed by negotiators and document the consent of the Contact group to implement “Steinmeier formula” in the near future.

“The importance of these positions has been repeatedly emphasized earlier.”Steinmeier formula ” is approved and recommended to the implementation by the “Normandy Four,” including the Ukrainian side. However, until now it has not even been discussed by the political subgroup due to the fault of Ukraine. But negotiators and coordinators are working on the Regulations for quite a long time. Lots of options have been elaborated, suggestions and comments of the parties have been taken into account. Primarily the Regulations will oblige the parties to record the agreements reached and will not allow falling back,” the source concluded.

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