25 June 2019, 17:58



OSCE SMM chief monitor Yasar Halit Cevik makes first visit to LPR

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LUGANSK, June 25 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Yaşar Halit Çevik, head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine since late May, has arrived on his first working visit to the Lugansk People’s Republic.

Cevik crossed the contact line in Stanitsa Luganskaya, inspected the ruined span of the bridge across the Seversky Donets and the crossing points on the Ukrainian and the LPR sides.

In the LPR, the OSCE SMM chief monitor was welcomed by the Republic’s Foreign Minister, LPR envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego and LPR officers at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination.

“It is the first visit of Mr Cevik, chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He recently took on his duties to replace Mr (Ertugrul) Apakan who had worked for the mission for nearly five years,” Deinego said.

“It is a purely technical visit to get to know the situation and meet the observers from the SMM Lugansk team. It is his first visit; i hope that he will visit the Republic more often than Apakan used to and that the Mission’s work will be more effective in terms of ensuring the most objective monitoring of the situation in the LPR and on the contact line,” he added.

In the course of the Contact Group meeting in Minsk, the new chief monitor was briefed on the Stanitsa Luganskaya situation where the repairs of the pedestrian crossing between the crossing points had been postponed for several years due to disagreements between the parties.

“Today, he had the opportunity to see it for himself and walk along the ruined bridge span and the wooden ramp which our residents use to cross the contact line one or several times a day,” Deinego noted.

The former OSCE SMM chief monitor, Ertugrul Apakan, presented his successor Yasar Halit Cevik at the meeting of the Contact Group security subgroup in Minsk on June 5, 2019.

Yasar Halit Cevik was Turkey’s permanent representative to the UN in 2012-2016. Previously, he was the ambassador to Syria and occupied various posts at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, the ruined bridge span in Stanitsa Luganskaya was inspected by new head of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mission to Ukraine Florence Gillette, appointed to the post in March.

Currently there is only one official checkpoint on the contact line in the Lugansk People’s Republic area of responsibility in Donbass and it is accessible via the bridge in vicinity of Stanitsa Luganskaya. Only pedestrian traffic here is possible thanks to temporary conduit, as the bridge was blown up by Ukrainian forces in early 2015. LPR has been continuously proposing to rebuild it.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

LuganskMediaCentre — 25 June — Lugansk