December 20, the 73rd round of negotiations of the working group on security will be held in Minsk, representative of Ukraine in the working group Yevgenij Marchuk informed on Facebook. The upcomming round of talks will be the last one in 2017.

“7 difficult issues are on the agenda of the Working Group on Security Issues, which I represent on behalf Ukraine. But the first one will be an attempt to agree on a ceasefire along the entire line of contact, at least for the period of the New Year and Christmas holidays and the winter holidays. We know how to achieve this. The technology has been already developed and tested. It worked in 2016, when it was possible to keep the ceasefire regime for 6 weeks”.

He noted that the military of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination play an important role for this. 

"Unlike the OSCE SMM patrols, they have powers and they can quickly intervene to stop the violation of the ceasefire. The Russian military - in violations by the ORDLO side, and the Ukrainian - in those by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The initiative of the Russian administration to withdraw its military from the JCCC will almost make it impossible to ensure the ceasefire regime, even if an agreement is reached tomorrow.

Earlier, QHA reported that Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation stated that the Kyiv authorities should negotiate with militants in the Donbas regarding the UN peacekeeping mission. Putin noted that it was the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who stated the need for arming the OSCE staff, and later stated that it was necessary to ensure security with the help of UN forces.