Tags: EU | Ukraine

OSCE Head Says Sept. 1 Cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine Holding

OSCE Head Says Sept. 1 Cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine Holding

Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:15 AM EDT

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A renewed cease-fire in eastern Ukraine has held for more than 10 days, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Saturday, adding that this creates the possibility of progress on the political level to resolve the conflict.

Despite a cease-fire declared in February, both Ukrainian troops and the Russia-backed separatists continued to carry out regular artillery strikes until they pledged anew to implement the truce on Sept. 1, the day children return to school.

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said Saturday he had just come from Mariupol and Shyrokyne, a center of recent fighting, and the situation was calm.

"So the cease-fire now has being holding for more than 10 days and that's good news, because that is opening now the space to make progress on a political level," he told The Associated Press.

He said this also allows OSCE monitors in eastern Ukraine to expand their functions.

The February deal reached in Minsk provides for a political settlement, including local elections in areas under separatist control, but the two sides have failed to agree on how they will be held. The two rebel regions have announced plans to hold their own elections on Oct. 18 and Nov. 1, but the Kiev government has said they would be in violation of the Minsk agreement.

Zannier said the OSCE was ready to send international observers to the elections. "So when the Ukrainian government tells us, 'yes, those elections are based on Ukrainian law, we ask you to go there and do it.' Then we'll do everything possible to facilitate there and ... also to be there as a stabilizing element," he said.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Europe
A renewed cease-fire in eastern Ukraine has held for more than 10 days, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Saturday, adding that this creates the possibility of progress on the political level to resolve the conflict.Despite a...
EU,Ukraine
279
2015-15-12
Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:15 AM
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