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Trilateral Contact Group held a meeting on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine

At the meeting in Minsk the parties again discussed the issue of the elections in Donbas and the release of the hostages
Trilateral Contact Group held a meeting on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine

The security issues – the ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line, the verification of the withdrawal by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observers – are the highest priority issues othe negotiations, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the information posted on Facebook by Darka Olifer, the press secretary of the ex-president Leonid Kuchma, the representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group.

“Particularly acute is the question of systematic attacks on the checkpoints on the contact line, as these attacks pose the danger directly to civilians.

Constant shelling did not allow experts to fully work on mine clearance.

Ukraine proposes that the experts of international humanitarian organizations conduct mine clearance in the so-called “gray zone”, namely mark the mined areas,” – wrote Olifer.

“As to the liberation of the hostages, the Trilateral Contact Group commended the release of hostages, which took place on February 20, 2016. For its part, Ukraine is doing everything possible to accelerate the process, waiting for the representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, that they will not drag out the process and create artificial barriers in this respect.

Important news – on February 26 four people held hostage in the territory of the individual areas of the Luhansk region will be released. We also demand to allow experts of the International Committee of the Red Cross and “Doctors without Borders” to the Ukrainian hostages, illegally held in uncontrolled by Ukraine parts of Donbas and to the prisoners in prisons of some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. International humanitarian organizations should have unimpeded access to the uncontrolled by Ukraine part of Donbas,” – the press secretary said.

Ukraine’s position on political issues remains the same: the holding of elections in some regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is possible only after setting of the full regime of silence, withdrawal of foreign military units from the territory of Ukraine, the return of control over the part of the Ukrainian-Russian border.

The next meeting of the Tripartite Liaison Group will be held in Minsk on March 2 – before a meeting of foreign ministers of the Normandy Four in Paris, scheduled for March 3. The agenda of the meeting is focused on the political, security issues, as well as on the humanitarian aspects.