Memorandum on stabilizing ceasefire another important step towards de-escalation, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office says
BERN, September 20 2014 - Didier Burkhalter, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, noted with satisfaction the signing of a Memorandum on 19 September, 2014, outlining the parameters for the implementation of the cease-fire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014.
The signature took place at a further meeting between the Trilateral Contact Group of senior representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, and representatives of certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which took place in Minsk on that day. Burkhalter called the Memorandum a significant step towards making the cease-fire sustainable and an important contribution in the efforts to peacefully settle the crisis in Eastern Ukraine.
Among the nine provisions included in the Memorandum, a line between the armed formations is established which serves as reference point for the withdrawal of military personnel and all types of arms, weapons and ammunition. Within an area of 15 kilometers on both sides of the line there shall be no military units or their weapons or ammunitions. Any offensive actions shall be prohibited. All foreign armed formations, military equipment as well as combatants and mercenaries shall be withdrawn from the Ukrainian territory. There was also agreement on the monitoring of the provisions of the Memorandum by the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE which is already operating on the ground in Ukraine. Expressing his gratitude to OSCE participating States for the monitors put at the SMM’s disposal, he asked for their further support in terms of additional experts and financial resources.
Burkhalter expressed his expectation that the Memorandum would bring relief to the suffering populations in the affected areas. He concluded by calling upon all sides to help consolidate the path of de-escalation.