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Trilateral Contact Group meeting: Ukrainian side calls to free Nadiya Savchenko and other hostages under Minsk Agreements

On Wednesday at the Minsk meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbas Ukrainian side urged to stop violation of the ceasefire, to withdraw heavy weapons, to carry out the mine clearance and stop military drills near the contact line
Trilateral Contact Group meeting: Ukrainian side calls to free Nadiya Savchenko and other hostages under Minsk Agreements

March 23, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbas held a meeting in Minsk. The top issues of the meeting’s agenda were security problems, according to the 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, Joinfo.ua reports.

“In the first place remain issues of the violations of the ceasefire, demining, cessation of the military drills near the contact line. Ukraine has repeatedly stressed and continues to insist that without solving the security problems it is impossible to speak of substantial progress in solving of the humanitarian, political and economic issues,” – wrote Olifer.

According to Darka Olifer, the Group discussed an issue on the control over the Ukrainian-Russian border. The Group discussed the implementation of a special plan of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s access to the part of the Ukrainian-Russian border outside the control of Ukraine.

“The most acute problem is the release of the hostages and illegally detained citizens. Ukraine calls upon the representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to continue the process of liberating the people, which was unlocked on February 20, 2016. The first step is to release those who need care and those who are in captivity for over a year,” – said Olifer.

“The Ukrainian side voiced demand to release Nadiya Savchenko and the position of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on her return to Ukraine in the framework of the Minsk agreements.

In addition, we once again call upon the representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to provide access of the International Red Cross Committee to the hostages in Donbas,” – Olifer wrote in her post.

The Ukrainian side has also raised the question of the prohibition of entry into the Russian Federation to the representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup Irina Gerashchenko. Irina Gerashchenko is a diplomat, authorized by the President of Ukraine on the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbass, the head of the parliamentary committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Such a restriction of freedom of movement may have a negative impact on the future work of the Trilateral Contact Group.

According to Darka Olifer, the parties talked about inviting of international environmentalists (under the aegis of the OSCE) to assess the situation on industrial enterprises located in the individual regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“We are talking about a chemical plant “Stirol” in Horlivka and mines “Holubovska” and “Pervomaiska” in the Luhansk region, the coal mine “Yuny Communar” in the Donetsk region. For example, in 1979 nuclear tests were carried out in the coal mine “Yuny Communar”. Since then the groundwater should be pump out regularly. Otherwise, the groundwater will be contaminated and that would cause the environmental disaster in Donbas,” – wrote Olifer.

Olifer also said that the economic sub-group continued work on the restoration of infrastructure, railway facilities, power lines, drawing up water supply contracts for the Luhansk region.