The Ukrainian Armed Forces are preparing for the disengagement of troops along the entire contact line in Donbas, Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Commander Lieutenant General Volodymyr Kravchenko has said.
He said this at a meeting with UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani, the JFO headquarters reported on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
In particular, he said that active preparatory works are underway in Stanytsia Luhanska prior to the beginning of works on the reconstruction of a bridge. In particular, a site for construction equipment and for the placement of building materials has already been prepared, and an approach road has already been expanded and restored, he said. “An additional bus is to be launched shortly so that crossing the contact line becomes even easier and more comfortable for our citizens,” the JFO commander added.
Kravchenko also spoke about the prospects for creating safe areas around the settlements of Zolote and Petrovske. According to him, such areas were to be created in 2016, but they still remain militarized. He expressed confidence that this would be the next step after Stanytsia Luhanska.
“Preparatory activities are now being conducted to disengage troops along the entire contact line. This task has been determined by the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense minister of Ukraine and the head of state. We are ready for this in order to improve the lives of our citizens and, ultimately, everything will depend on mirror actions from the opposite side,” he said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier that he wanted to discuss a prisoner exchange and the disengagement of troops in Donbas at a meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries.
At the same time, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that at the Normandy format summit it is necessary to record on paper “cast-iron agreements” on the disengagement of troops in Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrovske, a special status for Donbas and the so-called Steinmeier formula.
(C) 2019 Ukrinform News