Press Statement by the Trilateral Contact Group
MINSK, 31 July 2014 - The Trilateral Contact Group of senior representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office had a face-to-face meeting in Minsk on July 31, 2014 with representatives of separatist groups from eastern regions of Ukraine.
The meeting in Minsk took place at the initiative of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and on invitation by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko.
The participants discussed the situation around the site of the MH17 crash. They took good note of the fact that a group of international observers and investigators were given access to the crash site today. They committed to securing further safe access to international investigators to the crash site until the investigation activities on the spot are completed. The Contact Group underlined the urgent need for full compliance with this commitment.
Furthermore, the participants discussed the situation of hostages and other persons detained in the context of the conflict. As a first step, they committed to the immediate release of a sizable number of persons deprived of freedom.
The Contact Group reiterated that the release of hostages and other illegally detained persons is an important element for securing a mutually agreed and sustainable cease-fire. The other elements include:
- the establishment of an OSCE supported monitoring and verification mechanism to become effective simultaneously with the entry into force of the cease-fire;
- effective control and verification on the border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
The Contact Group agreed with the representatives of separatist groups that they will hold another meeting next week.