On January 18, the first in 2018 meeting of the Contact Group took place in Minsk. The agenda of the meeting included issues of the exchange of prisoners, the observance of the ceasefire, the implementation of agreements on the withdrawal of prohibited weapons and the disengagement of forces and facilities.
As a source at the peace talks reports from Minsk, the main issues of today’s meeting of the Contact Group were security issues and the exchange of prisoners.
“Summing up the long-awaited release of prisoners on December 27, 2017, during the discussion of the new stage of the exchange, the DPR envoy, Denis Pushilin, highlighted a number of violations committed by the Ukrainian party, including inaccuracies in the number of exchanged, absence of documents with the released persons, and the physical condition of the exchanged.
Given who is the opponent for the DPR and the LPR, these and other disturbances long do not surprise anyone, but this does not mean that they should remain unanswered. Violations must be taken into account and eliminated for both conducted and future exchanges,” the source said.
The source also reports that Denis Pushilin urged the negotiators to ensure that the subgroup on humanitarian issues did everything possible to bring to logical completion the exchange of prisoners started on December 27.
In addition, according to the source, the attention of the negotiators was paid to maintaining the ceasefire during the past New Year and Christmas holidays and to implementing additional measures to stabilize the ceasefire.
“In addition to the need to publish and bring to the personnel orders for the need for compliance with the ceasefire and disciplinary measures for the perpetrators, the coordinator of the OSCE SMM focused on measures such as the ban on progress and any offensive actions, the ban on the opening of fire under any conditions.
The Republic reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the ceasefire and supported additional measures to stabilize the “silence regime,” the source said.
Considering today’s events in Ukrainian politics, representatives of the Republics raised the issue of the law on ‘reintegration’ adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, there was not any intelligible argument for the feasibility of this bill,” the source said.