22 Aug 2018 19:03

Minsk Contact Group agreed on new Donbas truce starting Aug 29

DONETSK/KYIV. Aug 22 (Interfax) - The Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Ukraine agreed in Minsk on Wednesday on a new ceasefire starting at 00:01 a.m. on August 29

"Under the agreement, the parties will resume their commitments as part of a new truce starting at 00:01 a.m. on August 29," Viktoria Talakina, an aide to Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) special envoy Denis Pushilin, told reporters on Wednesday.

The link to significant events for the introduction of a new truce is somehow logical, she said. "In this case we hope that Donbas children will be able to study in a calm and peaceful situation," Talakina said, citing the start of a new academic year in the near future.

As before, for the truce to be successful the most important condition remains the taking of extra ceasefire monitoring measures by the opposing sides, "the violation of which makes it possible form armed units on the other part of Ukraine to commit new crimes against humanity and to go unpunished," Talakina added.

"The Trilateral Contact Group involving ORDLO representatives confirms their commitment to the indefinite ceasefire in connection with the start of a new academic year starting midnight on August 29, 2018," Darka Olifer, a spokeswoman of Ukrainian envoy to the TCG Leonid Kuchma, wrote on Facebook later. "The parties committed to undertake every necessary step to ensure a steady ceasefire," Olifer said.

The negotiating parties committed to ensure a reliable and safe access for the OSCE monitors all across Ukraine to monitor the observance of ceasefire, she added.

Meanwhile, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) special envoy Pushilin's press service expressed hope that "updated commitments of the opposing sides seeking the observance of ceasefire will strengthen stability in Donbas and will make it possible to focus on the settlement of economic and political issues."

The negotiating republics confirm their full commitment to the indefinite ceasefire in connection with the start of a new academic year and are ready to take every necessary measure to comply with the agreements reached, Pushilin said.

"For the updated truce to be successful, the opposing sides should fulfil a number of additional monitoring measures put forward by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission," he said.

Those measures include a ban on shell attacks and gunfire, including a retaliatory one, especially toward populated localities and from them, the publication of relevant orders to cease fire and the informing of the military at all levels, and the public, of them, and a ban on any offensive and intelligence actions and on sniper shooting, a ban on deploying heavy weaponry in populated areas, and on the precision fire at civil infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals, the undertaking of relevant measures against ceasefire violations, effective use of tough disciplinary measures to violators, and the safe access for the OSCE SMM, Pushilin said.