Achieving peace: Demilitarization 'a vital condition' for Donbas elections - U.S. ambassador

16:39 Sep. 20, 2016

Demilitarization 'a vital condition' for Donbas elections - U.S. ambassador

U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (UNIAN Photo)

Biliteral withdrawal of troops away from the frontline would enable security guarantees during the Donbas elections

Mutual withdrawal of troops near the separation line will ensure security for future elections in Donbas, the U.S. ambassador in Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said in RFE/RL interview.

"Our position is clear: first we must obtain security to hold the elections. How can one conduct the ballot without any security guarantees? As we see it, the ceasefire agreements that were meant to act for the last two years, are not being held to. The latest armistice accords are also violated. So the stable security is important", the top US diplomat in Ukraine said. 

Read more Donbas seeing escalation ahead of Minsk meeting

"For this, confidence must be achieved. In this context, we should mention agreements on troops and weapon withdrawal in three separation zones. I know it's a vexed question in Ukraine, but if there's a possibility to withdraw the forces away from each other, there are fewer chances for them to have a clash. Ensuring security is one of the highest priority steps, in my opinion, both for the population and for the whole political process", she added. 

Biliteral withdrawal of troops and weapons in three of the frontline zones in Donbas was agreed by the Triliteral contact group in Minsk on September, 21st. The withdrawal is meant to be conducted under the OSCE mission control. 

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