19 Dec 2017 18:28

JCCC not ruling out disbandment or replacement of Russians with OSCE reps - source

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - The existence of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), which monitored the observance of the Minsk Agreements in terms of the ceasefire in Donbas, is in question following the withdrawal of Russian specialists, a source within the JCCC told Interfax.

"Russia and Ukraine recalled their representatives to the JCCC from the Donbas territories controlled by Kyiv and from those beyond its control, respectively. Militiamen of the self-proclaimed republics, as well as OSCE observers, are monitoring the observance of the ceasefire in 'certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,' which are beyond Kyiv's administrative control. The further fate of the center is in question for now," the source said.

The center may be completely disbanded, or Russian members may be replaced with OSCE representatives as mediators, the source said.

"The option of resuming the center's work with the participation of OSCE representatives instead of the Russian experts who left the JCCC is under consideration. They could serve as mediators in a dialogue between the Ukrainian side and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics and monitor the observance of the Minsk Agreements in the Donbas territory controlled by Kyiv," the source said.

The issue of OSCE representatives' participation in the work of the JCCC will be addressed at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on Wednesday.