LPR delegation says work in security subgroup not possible until release of JCCC officer

Minsk-2  Military&Defence 

The discussion of Contact Group security subgroup’s agenda is not possible until Kiev has returned the abducted monitor of the Lugansk People’s Republic Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) Andrey Kosyak, press secretary of the LPR delegation in the Contact Group Maria Kovshar said.

“The key point in the subgroup’s work was immediate solution of the situation with the illegal capture and detention of the representative of the LPR Office at the JCCC,” Kovshar said.

“In his report, the LPR representative presented detailed information on the incident involving the abduction of the observer, underlining that the incident had fully devalued any guarantees or statements by Ukraine which undermined the system of mutual security guarantees in principle,” she said. “No documents or other issues of the agenda can be objectively discussed until the release of the captured observer.”

The press secretary underlined that “the representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Federation supported this position.”

A Ukrainian army special operations group captured representative of the LPR Office at the JCCC Andrey Kosyak in the Zolotoye security zone in the morning of October 13. After Kiev failed to immediately return the observer as the LPR demanded, LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik said that further dialogue with Kiev within the Minsk format made no sense until Ukraine had returned Kosyak. The LPR Office at the JCCC stopped contacts with Ukraine and limited a number of movement routes for OSCE monitors. During his visit to Lugansk, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Mark Etherington promised to thoroughly examine the circumstances behind the capture of the LPR officer by Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014. Conflict settlement relies on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarussian capital by the Contact Group members and coordinated by the Normandy Four heads of states (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution No 2202 of February 17, 2015 and called upon the parties to ensure its implementation.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. *i*s

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