Donetsk, Mar 24 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic representative to the Minsk subgroup on security issues Alexey Nikonorov brought forward two new locations for the disengagement of forces and hardware at the negotiations on Tuesday, the DPR Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination said.

“Alexey Nikonorov tabled two alternative security zones south of Donetsk; the LPR representative proposed two more disengagement areas as well,” the JCCC said.

The Kiev representatives’ proposals largely remained unchanged; no alternative locations were suggested which complicates the talks. “Ukraine is delaying the approval of security zone locations rejecting any proposals by the Republics and insisting on security zones boundaries which are disadvantageous to us,” the JCCC quoted Nikonorov as saying.

The Tuesday talks were held in the format of video conference because of the tense epidemiological situation in Minsk.

The framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed in late September 2016. The objective was to disengage the warring sides avoiding the risk of clashes and shelling.  The document set three pilot security areas: Petrovskoye in the DPR and Stanitsa Luganskaya and Zolotoye in the LPR. The parties did not rule out disengagement along the entire contact line in the future.

During the talks at the summit of the “Normandy Four” leaders (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine) on December 9, 2019, a decision was made to disengage the conflicting parties in three more areas which are still unlocated.*jk