The European Union has once again called for the Russian Federation to return its officers to the Joint Control and Coordination Centre (JCCC) to provide an efficient mechanism for maintaining the ceasefire in Donbas.

The EU statement on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the illegal occupation of Crimea, made at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 22 October, announced this.

“We reiterate our call for the parties to abide by their ceasefire commitments and to refrain from actions that could jeopardise it. That is why we emphasise the importance of an efficient coordination mechanism and reiterate our call for Russia to return to the Joint Monitoring and Coordination Centre,” the statement said.

At the same time, Yevhen Tsymbalyuk, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to international organizations in Vienna, said at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting that Russia should explain the two convoys of trucks that arrived in the Donbas occupied territories across the border outside the checkpoints on 16 October.

“On the evening of 16 October, a Special Long-Range Monitoring Mission drone found two convoys of military trucks carrying an unknown cargo from Russia across the border near Manich, where there are no checkpoints, to a facility in the centre of Donetsk. We urge the Russian delegation to provide clarification on this cargo content and its recipients,” the diplomat said.

He also called for Russia to stop illegal supplies to Donbas areas uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government and military activities in the border area. In addition, Tsymbalyuk stressed that the OSCE mission constantly notices pro-Russian militants’ representatives with armbands with the inscription JCCC at forces separation sites.

To recap, the Russian Federation armed forces officers unilaterally exited JCCC and left Ukraine in December 2017. Information about their return was not officially received.

Bohdan Marusyak

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