At the last meeting in Minsk on December 18, the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine agreed to continue consultations by the end of the year, in particular through video conferences, as stated by representative of Ukraine in the TCG political subgroup on political issues Oleksiy Reznikov.
During a briefing at the Office of the President, Oleksiy Reznikov stressed that one of the priority tasks for Ukraine to be resolved during this time was the return of illegally detained persons under the formula “all for all”.
“Notwithstanding the fact that yesterday was the last meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group this year and the next one is scheduled for mid-January, it was agreed that representatives of the parties will continue consultations through various means of communication, including a Skype conference, with the participation of representatives of the subgroups. Hence, they will not finish working over the present negotiations,” he said.
Oleksiy Reznikov noted that information of certain media about the alleged disruption of the TCG talks was false. He recalled that there had already been skepticism about the implementation of other initiatives within the peace process earlier in the information field: for example, disengagement of troops in Zolote and Petrivske, the reconstruction of the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska or the exchange of detained persons under the formula “35 for 35”. However, doubts were unfounded.
“That is, there are different attempts to prevent Ukraine from being successful. But negotiations continue in working mode. There are details, nuances that groups, specialists work on. That is why I am still in an optimistic mood today, hoping that we will resolve all the issues,” the representative of Ukraine in the political subgroup said.
According to Oleksiy Reznikov, the TCG meeting in Minsk took place following the last Normandy meeting with the participation of the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia. Five priorities were on the agenda. Сeasefire and peace and quiet order by the end of 2019; release of detained persons under the formula “all for all”; admission of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the occupied territories for the approval of lists of detained persons; disengagement of troops in three areas of humanitarian importance; transition of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to 24/7 mode.
For her part, representative of Ukraine in the working subgroup on humanitarian issues of the Trilateral Contact Group Valeria Lutkovska expressed belief that all technical problems in the work of TCG would be resolved.
“There is a great desire to implement the agreements reached within the Normandy summit. We have a duty to those who remain in captivity. Therefore, we will surely work to resolve any technical problems and nuances that have arisen,” Valeria Lutkovska stressed.
She stressed that the Ukrainian side was constantly working to confirm as much information as possible about people illegally detained in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.
“We are interested in receiving as much confirmation of the citizens of Ukraine illegally detained in Donbas as possible,” the representative of Ukraine in the TCG working subgroup noted.
Valeria Lutkovska specified that it was about both servicemen and civilians.
According to her, the representatives of Ukraine in TCG are doing their best to bring the date of the next meeting in the mode of video conference closer.