OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbia’s Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic sees no alternative to the Minsk agreements on the Ukrainian crisis, the OSCE says in its press release, BelTA informs.
Ivica Dacic made the statement in Kiev on 17 July ahead of his visit to Minsk scheduled for 21 July. It is expected that Ivica Dacic will hold talks with Belarusian representatives and take part in a meeting of the trilateral contact group on Ukraine.
“With the Minsk Agreements we have a blueprint for reaching peace,” said Ivica Dacic. He stressed the importance of full implementation of the agreed provisions, from ceasefire to constitutional reforms. “Now we are at a crucial point in the process. I urge our hosts to take advantage of the OSCE capacities in assisting reforms, especially in the light of preparations for the local elections,” he added.
With Chief Monitor Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and his deputy Alexander Hug, Ivica Dacic discussed the challenges they are meeting in fulfilling the Mission’s mandate in Ukraine, especially when it comes to the process of verifying both the ceasefire and withdrawal of weapons in line with the Minsk Agreements. The Chairperson underlined the need for all sides to ensure that SMM monitors are granted access to all areas and that their safety is guaranteed. “That is the only way for them to fully observe the ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons, which is crucial for life returning to normalcy. The humanitarian crisis worsens every day. It is our aim to do our utmost to find solutions and work towards lasting peace and stability for the people of this country,” Ivica Dacic said.
Equally important are moves to speed up the political process, with the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) and its working groups meeting regularly and working on substance. “Issues crucial for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements should have priority over procedural issues. We should use the momentum created by working groups meeting regularly to produce a tangible result for those affected by the conflict,” Ivica Dacic said.