During a working trip to the Donetsk region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting on the work of the Trilateral Contact Group at the Mayorske checkpoint.
The meeting was attended by Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, his Deputy Roman Mashovets, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Ruslan Demchenko, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak, Minister of Defense Andriy Taran, Head of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the State Border Service Serhiy Deyneko, Director of the Sixth Territorial Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andriy Plakhotniuk, people's deputy, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the TCG Oleksandr Merezhko, other representatives of Ukraine in the TCG, as well as representatives of the OSCE SMM.
The parties discussed the implementation of the agreements reached in Paris during the meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four last December, as well as the problems that hinder the implementation of these agreements. It was noted that the regime of comprehensive and permanent ceasefire is an undeniable success on the way to peace in Donbas.
"Indeed, we observe minimization of losses. Today, the silence mode has been maintained for the 62nd day. I want to thank, first of all, our military for endurance, to thank the command of the Armed Forces and the JFO, the Commander-in-Chief - for the right approach to the army, to every officer, to every soldier. And for the understanding, which made this first step towards peace in Donbas possible," the President of Ukraine said.
The OSCE SMM representative in Kramatorsk said the monitoring mission had recorded significantly fewer violations since July 27, when a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire had come into force.
"In seven weeks since the introduction of additional measures for a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, from July 27 to September 16, 1,052 violations were recorded. For comparison, in five weeks before that, we recorded 18,027 violations," the OSCE representative said, adding that only one civilian was injured during the two months of the regime of silence - on the first day of its operation.
"The silence regime has been in force for two months. Despite single and aimless shots, the regime is adhered to. We have grounds to believe that the "silence" will continue," Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak noted.
During a meeting, the parties discussed the progress in the issue of mirror disengagement of forces and assets in four agreed areas, as well as in the issue of demining of the Donbas territory.
"Pursuant to the agreements reached in Paris, demining was carried out at 12 sites previously agreed. The water and gas supply facilities needed by the population have been demined. On the side controlled by Ukraine, the number of people wounded by mines has significantly decreased," commander of the JFO Volodymyr Kravchenko said.
The issue of possible opening of more checkpoints in Donbas was also discussed.
In order to speed up the negotiation process to achieve greater results in all these issues and faster implementation of the agreements of the leaders of the "Normandy Four", Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak invited TCG participants to meet more often.
"I would like to ask the representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group to start working every week, despite the approach of winter. There is no point in delaying the negotiation process," Andriy Yermak said, adding that it would be good if more Ukrainian politicians visited the delimitation line and talked to the military and residents of Donbas.