In the Donbas comes into force “new year” truce
DONETSK, Dec 23 — RIA Novosti. Agreement on ceasefire in the Donbass for the Christmas season, come into force at 00.00 GMT (01.00 GMT) on Saturday. This is the sixth year the attempt of the parties to the conflict to stop attacks.
The agreement on the ceasefire agreed by the contact group on settling the situation in Ukraine on the latest in 2017 meeting, which was held Wednesday in Minsk.
Another attempt to cease fire in the Donbass
The parties to the conflict this year has repeatedly attempted to achieve a sustainable ceasefire. Began in 2017 with a truce for the new year and Christmas holidays. After the armistice on Easter day — the international children’s day, “bread” — the period of harvest and “school” on the eve of the school year. The latter was to be perpetual and comprehensive.
The contact group has even developed a mechanism to maintain the ceasefire. It was the publication by the parties of the conflict of the orders of the armistice, the investigation and prosecution of offenders.
However, to achieve a ceasefire and failed. By the middle of December the situation in the Donbass significantly worsened. The parties accused each other of violating the truce and the application of the Minsk agreements prohibited weapons, including artillery and jet systems of volley fire.
According to the OSCE mission, only from 11 to 17 December there were almost 16 thousand violations of the cease-fire, which is 35% more than last week.
“We note with concern the serious deterioration in the situation of violation of the ceasefire, which has reached a level not seen since February of this year”, — said the head of the Special monitoring mission (SMM) of the OSCE in Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan.
In addition, in December, the Russian foreign Ministry announced that Russia is suspending its operations in the framework of the Joint center for control and coordination of the ceasefire (SCCC). In the Russian Ministry recalled that SCCC has faced serious difficulties because of the position of the Ukrainian authorities. On Tuesday, officers of the armed forces, members of the joint center, left the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s Republic. With them to Kiev-controlled territory and drove out the officers of the armed forces of Ukraine.
In order to stabilize the situation in the eve of new year holidays, the contact group agreed on another indefinite ceasefire in the Donbass.
“The trilateral contact group stresses the need to ensure peace and tranquility in connection with the Christmas holidays and on the basis of previous agreements and obligations, confirms the commitment to sustainable, comprehensive and indefinite cease-fire from 00.00 on December 23, Moscow time,” — said after the meeting in Minsk the OSCE representative in the contact group Martin Sajdik.
New year and a new chance for peace