Trilateral Contact Group agrees on withdrawal of forces from the Donbas

The Trilateral Contact Group, which was created to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine, agreed on a "withdrawal of troops and weapons" by all parties to the conflict in the Donbas region, as stated on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, by Daria Olifer, Press Secretary of the Ukrainian representative to the group, Leonid Kuchma, on her Facebook page. This information was confirmed by the Special Representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Martin Sajdik.

According to Olifer, the framework of the agreement involves the “de-escalation along the line of a contact” and creates conditions in which it is prohibited “to use small arms.” In addition, the document foresees "the full implementation of the previous agreements" on the removal of guns with less than a 100mm caliber from the contact line. Leonid Kuchma’s Press Secretary noted that while there is discussion about removing forces, this does not extend to the entire line of demarcation, but only in three specific areas. The Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE is responsible for monitoring compliance with the agreements on the unnamed areas of withdrawal.

On the 14th of September, 2016 the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, agreed on a seven-day ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The truce was supposed to be the beginning of the three-step program for conflict resolution, according to a Deutsche Welle correspondent. A new meeting of the contact group is scheduled for the 5th of October, 2016, in Minsk as relayed by a source in the negotiations to Interfax

  Ukraine, Russia, Donbas, Trilateral Contact Group