As reported by Censor.NET citing UNIAN, this was announced by Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin in an interview in Paris after the five-hour negotiations between top diplomats ended.
"Today's meeting is the next step, but we can't talk about any decisive progress, given the actual security situation, given that yesterday we had 63 attacks, given that the OSCE does not have access to many areas of the Donbas and the Ukrainian-Russian border," the minister said.
According to Klimkin, his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov "was not ready to go deeper into the security issues in terms of providing access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission." "He suggested leaving it to the experts in Minsk [the Trilateral Contact Group - ed.], so he expressed willingness to only support conceptual ideas and certain proposals of the OSCE. But we need to tackle the comprehensive security issue," he said.
Klimkin stresses that the comprehensive security not only means "cease-fire and arms withdrawal."
"First of all, it is OSCE's control over the territory of the Donbas and the Ukrainian-Russian border. Security means removal of all weaponry deployed there. Without security, we can't proceed to hold elections, [in the temporarily occupied parts of the Donbas - ed.]," the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry remarked.
Klimkin emphasized once again that "in respect of the current round of negotiations, we can't talk about any decisive progress." "But we managed to discuss in detail a number of positions of the OSCE, and on the other hand - to get a clear vision of the security issue," he said.
Ukraine's foreign minister noted: "It was a very difficult meeting." "We came there with three key priorities. Firstly, it was security. Based on discussions with the SMM, we expressed clear proposals," Klimkin said.
According to Ukraine's top diplomat, these proposals suggest clear access to the territory of the Donbas, "this is a very clear scheme of how the SMM can get an effective monitoring along the Ukrainian-Russian border." "This is, first of all, establishing a number of SMM bases along the border, an opportunity to conduct inspections, install the appropriate equipment which would allow monitoring the border and the most critical points day and night; possibilities of SMM's presence from our side. We believe that this proposal, if implemented, can effectively ensure the monitoring of the section of the Ukrainian-Russian border, which is still beyond Ukraine's control," Klimkin noted.
Also, he said the Ukrainian side "put a special emphasis on the establishment of security zones, similar to those in Debaltseve or near the Donetsk airport". "We stressed the necessity to exchange hostages. What we see happening now is the lack of any progress - we only managed to carry out several small exchanges," the minister said.
According to Klimkin, he also furnished Lavrov with one of the non-governmental organization's reports on "how the Ukrainian hostages in the Donbas are mistreated."
The minister also said that the main topic of the talks was the issue of the elections' modality. "Here, we primarily stressed the need to ensure security and to have such election modalities which would correspond to Ukraine's legislation and OSCE standards," Klimkin said.
As previously reported, a meeting of the Normandy Four foreign ministers ended in Paris. It was attended by foreign ministers of Ukraine, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Russian Federation.
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