#Commentary of Denis Pushilin on beginning of comprehensive truce on July 1, 2018

Due to upcoming harvest season, the Contact Group agreed on a comprehensive and indefinite truce beginning from July 1, 2018, at 00:01 a.m. Kiev time.

The process of preparation of such a decision was quite controversial. If the majority of participants in the negotiation process understood the value of human life and were ready to implement a ceasefire regime, then the representatives of Ukraine did not express their desire to conclude a truce.

The negotiators managed to convince the Ukrainian side to support the decision of the Contact Group on the comprehensive, stable and indefinite truce beginning from July 1, 2018.

Whether Ukraine will follow the ceasefire regime, time will tell. But Ukraine has to fulfill a number of requirements of the OSCE SMM to make this truce efficient. Among them are:

  • a prohibition on shelling and direct fire, including retaliation fire, especially in the direction and from the direction of human settlements;
  • the publication of corresponding ceasefire orders and their bringing to the attention of military officers at all levels, as well as a wider public;
  • a ban on any offensive actions, reconnaissance and sniper shooting;
  • a prohibition on the deployment of heavy weapons in human settlements, as well as shelling of civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens and hospitals;
  • taking appropriate measures regarding ceasefire violations, effective and strict disciplinary actions against violators;
  • ensuring secure access for the OSCE SMM. It will be highly problematic to reach a meaningful ceasefire on the line of contact without the implementation of these measures.

Denis Pushilin,

the Chairman of the DPR People’s Council,

the Permanent Plenipotentiary Representative of the DPR in the Contact Group’s negotiations in Minsk

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