On October 7, Ivano-Frankivsk hosted the first of a series of Dialogues on Ukraine dedicated to the discussion of the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas. The participants of the dialogue tackled the current steps being taken to protect the sovereignty and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in particular, the issue of reciprocal disengagement of troops along the front line.
"The military forces withdrawal is carried out as part of the Minsk negotiations with the aim of reducing the possibility of precision shooting, reducing the number of casualties among the military. The disengagement is reciprocal, that is, the troops withdraw one kilometer from their positions on both sides of the demarcation line," said Deputy Minister of Defense Alina Frolova in her statement. “The relevant protocol for the disengagement of troops was adopted in 2015. We are currently trying to restart this process."
Alina Frolova added that the withdrawal of the military is planned in three settlements: Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske. The first stage has already been carried out in Stanytsia Luhanska. The main condition of this process is the complete ceasefire in the area of withdrawal within seven days. Meanwhile, monitors of the OSCE Mission, the Joint Coordination and Control Center, civil-military cooperation units and police units will be working along the withdrawal line, mine removal will be conducted. In the area of disengagement, it is planned to establish a coordination center, which will be subordinate to the local administration and will engage in coordinating the actions of representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Police and other agencies. The Center's task will be to promptly address all issues of concern to citizens and to ensure their safety.
Following the mutual military disengagement, the activities to restore infrastructure will begin and humanitarian missions will be able to work on the territory.
"Nobody is talking now about peace for the sake of peace," Alina Frolova said. "We all strive for victory. But we were the first in the world to face a large-scale hybrid war, so victory must be hybrid as well. We must be ready for war on all fronts without exception. While the army will deter the enemy in the spatial area, diplomats will be on the advance in the diplomatic environment."
Equally important, according to the Deputy Minister, is the work to restore the confidence of the local population of Donbas to the actions of the Government and the leadership of the state.
Moreover, during the meeting, the possible risks for Ukraine as a result of the withdrawal of troops, the resumption of Ukrainian broadcasting, the conditions for holding elections in the occupied territories were among the topics for discussion.
In the Dialogue there took part Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleksiy Makeiev, First Deputy Minister for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Anton Kolumbet and Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Alina Frolova. The meeting also gathered MPs of Ukraine, OSCE representatives, regional state administration leadership, heads of local self-government bodies.
After the meeting in Ivano-Frankivsk, the Dialogue participants will hold similar events in Rivne and Lviv.