Ukraine protests the OSCE coordinator’s meeting with Surkov

The Humanitarian Coordinator of the subgroup of the contact group on conflict settlement in the Donbas from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), Toni Frisch did not report to the Trilateral Contact group the outcome of his meeting with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov, said First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Herashchenko, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian sub-group of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG).

"Ukrainian representatives were baffled that OSCE coordinator Frisch met with V. Surkov, President Putin’s advisor, but did not inform the group or the TCG about the meeting or its outcome,” Herashchenko wrote on Facebook on Wednesday following the meeting of the TCG in Minsk.

She noted that Frisch refused to visit Russian soldier Viktor Ageyev at the Starobelsk pre-trial detention facility. Ageyev fought in the ranks of militants in the Donbas and was detained in 2017 after stating that he was on a political visit.

"We insist on an impartial and independent approach of the coordinators to their work, the inadmissibility of the behind-the-scenes talks, and on resolving all issues in the trilateral, not bilateral format: Ukraine-Russia-OSCE," Herashchenko stressed.

Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian sub-group of TCG also revealed that during the meeting, the Russians never agreed to the creation of a mechanism to search for missing persons with their involvement and with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

  OSCE, Surkov, Toni Frisch