Contact Group members finished the talks for today and expressed their gratitude to Ambassador Heidi Grau, the OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, as she is stepping down on July 31.
"The participants hope that her successor Mikko Kinnunen will succeed in achieving positive dynamics in the settlement of political issues and the conflict in general," the statement reads.
Ambassador Grau supported the idea to resume the work of the group without inviting public experts. The DPR, LPR and the subgroup's coordinator Ms Sylvie-Agnes Bermann expressed their consent, while Ukraine disagreed, its representatives kept blocking the talks.
The group noted further escalation at the contact line and the lack of progress in discussing key issues, first of all, the coordination mechanism.
Kiev kept hampering the negotiations, agreeing to discuss only the matter of LPR payments for water supply. Nevertheless, Kiev is reluctant to repay its debts to LPR residents.
Ukraine has not fulfilled its obligation on legal clearance of detainees, making it impossible to proceed with further swaps. The mechanism of missing persons search was discussed. The opening of two news crossing points was discussed in detail, though Kiev still refuses to issue indefinite ceasefire guarantees necessary for the operation of checkpoints.
Ambassador Yaşar Halit Çevik is Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine assessed the situation in the vicinity of the new checkpoints as escalating and becoming a hot spot due to Ukrainian shelling. *t