Ukrainian Foreign Ministry makes statement on Russia's withdrawal from JCCC
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is outraged by Russia's unilateral decision to withdraw Russian military servicemen from the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) on December 19.
"We regard this unprecedented step by Russia as another provocation significantly undermining the Minsk agreements, and as the desire to disclaim any responsibility as a party to the conflict for the consequences of armed aggression against our state," the ministry said in a statement on December 18.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that such a move by Moscow once again shows that the Kremlin does not abandon attempts to oblige Ukraine and international partners to start the so-called "direct dialogue" with militants of illegal armed formations operating in the temporarily occupied territory of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine under total control and with full support from Russia.
"By its decision, the Kremlin significantly increases the security risks for the OSCE SMM, including with the aim of imposing on Ukraine and its international partners an unacceptable version of the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas," the statement reads.
The ministry said that Russia, as a party to the conflict in Donbas, bears full responsibility for the development of the security situation and ensuring the safety of OSCE SMM observers in a territory temporarily uncontrolled by the government of Ukraine.
"The Ukrainian side of the JCCC will continue its normal activities, working with the OSCE SMM in a bilateral format and making every effort to ensure the safety of the mission's personnel in its monitoring of the situation within its mandate," the document reads.
The Foreign Ministry also said that Ukraine is appealing to international partners with the request to strengthen political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin in order to avoid steps that could lead to the disruption of Minsk agreements.
Earlier on December 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russian servicemen in the JCCC will leave the territory of Ukraine on December 19.According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the JCCC has been faced with serious difficulties due to the position of the Ukrainian authorities.