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OSCE urges parties to Donbas conflict not to escalate and open checkpoints

Source : 112 Ukraine

The organization calls to open new checkpoints in Shchastia and Zolote of Luhansk region and ensure the work of others to facilitate the crossing of the contact line for the population
12:02, 18 March 2021

Ukranews

The OSCE notes that statements on the readiness of the parties to the conflict in Donbas to resort to use of force have recently become more frequent, and in this regard it calls on the parties not to resort to escalation. This was stated by the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Ukraine and in the TCG, Ambassador Heidi Grau, as the OSCE press service reports.

“According to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission's assessments, the commitment to the ceasefire in the conflict zone and the additional measures to strengthen it are overall respected. The number of ceasefire violations continue to remain well below the average level in 2020, before the additional measures came into force. However, since November 2020, there has been a gradual increase in the number of ceasefire violations that, regrettably, negatively affects the civilians in the conflict zone. Also in the information space, there has been a recent increase in publications containing mutual accusations regarding the readiness of the sides to resolve the conflict by force. Undoubtedly, all of this has a negative impact on the activities of the TCG and its Working Groups," the message reads.

The Humanitarian Working Group focused on removing obstacles to the opening and full operation of the new entry-exit crossing points (EECPs) near Zolote and Shchastia of the Luhansk region.

Related: Russia has no reasons for turning Donbas Conflict into large-scale war, - Ukrainian official

"I would like to note that not only these two, but also all other EECPs should be opened as soon as possible in order to facilitate the crossing of the contact line by civilians,"  she said.

The Working Group also considered aspects of mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees.

Earlier, Ukraine offered to hold ‘humanitarian mine clearance’ in Donbas on eve of Easter holidays.

Related: Day in Donbas: Five attacks, no losses in ranks of Ukrainian military

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