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OSCE wants a system of investigation into incidents and ceasefire violations

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The OSCE is working to establish system of investigation into incidents and ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said during a media conference in Hamburg Dec. 9. The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council kicked off on Dec. 8 in Hamburg, Germany. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov is also attending the meeting. The two-day meeting will focus on the activities carried out during Germany’s chairmanship, as well as the existing conflicts in the OSCE area including the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It was impossible to organize the 3+2 meeting (three co-chairs of the OSCE MG plus Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers) due to Armenia’s destructive policy and its efforts aimed at avoiding the talks, Hajiyev added.

Syrian government forces suspended military activities against militants in Aleppo

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking in Hamburg on the sideline of OSCE meeting,  announced that Syrian government forces have suspended “active military activities” against militants in eastern Aleppo to enable the withdrawal of civilians from the city. Lavrov added that it had been agreed that Russian and US military experts would meet in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday. Lavrov also met with his US counterpart John Kerry, and later in the day held a telephone call with him. Russian Foreign Minister also said that Based on the US side’s declared readiness to facilitate the withdrawal of militants from that city, the sides agreed to look into practical details of this process.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: 3+2 format meeting still up to discussion

Possibility of holding a 3+2 format meeting – three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, plus Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs – on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Hamburg was discussed but there is still no final agreement, said the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova during a briefing Dec. 7. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has earlier said that Yerevan had not yet responded to the France’s proposal to hold the 3+2 format meeting in Hamburg. Mammadyarov noted that Baku supports France’s proposal to hold the 3+2 format meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Hamburg.

OSCE doesn’t think Ukraine is ready to implement the political portion of the Minsk agreement

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According to Russian ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Alexander Lukashevich, Ukraine is not ready to implement the political portion of the Minsk agreement and is trying to sabotage efforts in all areas. Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE’s Permanent Council ,Lukashevich affirmed that Wednesday’s meeting of the Contact Group clearly demonstrates that Kiev is sabotaging the work in all directions. Lukashevich emphasized the fact that the dialogue on a political settlement has been blocked under the pretense of ongoing clashes.

Italy can contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Italy plans to focus on frozen conflicts during its chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, TASS reports. “In the period of its chairmanship in the OSCE and non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, we will focus on frozen conflicts,” he told a news conference. In his words, Italy can make a contribution to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

OSCE MG co-chairs discussed current working proposals to advance negotiations for a long-lasting peace

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the US, and Pierre Andrieu of France), together with the personal representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office, ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, traveled to Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region October 23-25, 2016. According to the statement, the co-chairs also discussed current working proposals to advance substantive negotiations towards a lasting peace. “The presidents each expressed their views on how to move the settlement process forward,” the statement said. “The presidents also reaffirmed their agreement to expand the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, and operational details are still being discussed.”The co-chairs added that they plan to meet with the ministers including on the margins of the December 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Hamburg to discuss a possible meeting of the presidents at the earliest opportunity.

The Ukranian President insists on a distribution of OSCE police mission in Donbass territories

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On Sunday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, asserted that Kiev insist on deployment of a police mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Donbass territories it does not control as a mandatory condition for local elections in these territories. The Ukrainian president said that another condition Kiev is setting for the organization of an election process is ensuring Ukraine’s control over the border with Russia in Donbass “on the second day after the polls,” as it’s said in the Minsk agreements. The Normandy Four leaders now plan to focus on a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He said that the new document will grant access for OSCE monitors to the entire Donbass territory, including the border and unimpeded access for the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The security package will include the completion of the disengagement of forces in the three previously appointed areas (Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya)

Ukraine: Russian soldiers “were armed, but had no orders to shoot”

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They caught fighting with the Donbass rebels. Despite the daily non-compliance of the ceasefire, the civil war is not going anywhere. Next winter could be crucial to Ukrainian national unity.

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“They were armed, but they had no orders to shoot. One of them said he had received orders from his military unit to go to Ukraine”. Today, th eOsce communcates it after two Russian soldiers were captured on Ukrainian soil while fighting alongside the pro-Russian militias on Monday, May18. After the arrival of military convoys last winter, intercepted by US satellites, this has definitely proved external interferences in the Donbass’ civil war. Interference which follows the video, of January 2015, whereas a US soldier was shot with Kiev’s army.

But the crisis in Ukraine still seems to be not going anywhere. Despite continuous clashes, especially near the airport of Donetsk and around the port city of Mariupol, confirm the no-compliance of the ceasefire declared by Minsk Protocol. The real showdown could take place next winter, when gas issue, supplied by Moscow, will become relevant again.

Meanwhile, the War has apparently become less Cold on the international front. The meetings in mid-May between the Secretary of State Kerry and President Putin, the first official visit on Russian soil since the crisis Ukrainian, show a willingness to dialogue between Washington and Moscow.

As well as having discussed the Syria case, the possible sale of Russian S-300 missiles to Iran and the Yemen war, Ukraine’s future was the main topic on the table. The US should want to entered in negotiating table consists of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, which led to the Protocol of Minsk in February.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov, Kerry said that respect for these agreements should lead to the end of civil war in the Donbass. However Kiev’s desire to recover militarily Donetsk caused embarrassment.

The US military troops presence in the NATO base in Javorov (near the border with Poland) is a source of discord with Russia. Here, they are ongoing training of almost 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers from April.

The constant anti-Russian releases from the Ukrainian President and Prime Minister Poroshenko Yatseniuk also show how far is the solution to this crisis. On one side, Kiev accuses the Kremlin of having anti-Western aims and would economic and military aid to the United States and the European Union. On the other side, Moscow doesn’t want to give up the Russian-speaking regions (Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea), which is the reply to Nato military forces and armaments’ developement in the former Soviet countries.

Cold war issues, Putin’s place in Syria and in other geopolitical contexts will be crucial to possible the Russian-speaking regions independence from Ukraine.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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