Donetsk, Nov 9 – DAN. Preparations for the withdrawal of forces from new areas along the Contact Line might resume if Ukrainian parliament amends the decision on local elections, the DPR mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said.

Last week, the acting commander of the JFO Viktor Gnuschak said that the Contact Group had designated four new locations for a future disengagement – the areas in the vicinity of Petropavlovka, Slavyanoserbsk, Nizhnetyoploye (LPR) and Grigorovka (DPR).

"It is known that the new zones were previously agreed to with a delayed prerequisite introduced by the Republics, the one that concerns the parliament's decision on holding the local elections," the JCCC said.

The above-mentioned condition suggests that Kiev must abolish Article 4 of the Rada's decision that puts the transfer of the border control and demilitarization of Donbass prior to the elections, which is contradictory to the Minsk Agreements.

Moreover, Ukrainian side should also eliminate violation in three pilot disengagement areas before drafting a new disengagement plan and schedule begins.

The framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed in late September 2016. The objective was to disengage the warring sides to avoid the risk of clashes and shelling. The document set three pilot security areas: Petrovskoye in the DPR and Stanitsa Luganskaya and Zolotoye in the Lugansk People’s Republic. The disengagement was finalized at all the three areas by the late 2019.

The presence of weapons and military personnel is banned in those areas. The OSCE SMM patrols are monitoring the situation.

The Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire were signed at the Contact Group meeting on July 22 to reinforce and control the indefinite ceasefire in effect since July 21, 2019, the latest in the series of more than 20 reconfirmation and announcements of the “silence regime”. The package came into effect on July 27. *ot