Updated 12:41 p. m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – The agreement reached in Minsk on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine are observed, facilitating the establishment of control mechanisms for the ceasefire, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to Channel 5.
“At the moment, the Russian president’s initiatives, essentially, have opened up and path to dialogue in these directions. The dialogue is in progress, and this is also the outcome of the Minsk agreements. Ceasefire is holding, even though with certain troubles. The mechanisms allowing control over the ceasefire are introduced. Russia-EU-Ukraine talks are getting underway,” Lavrov said.
“If everyone showed such goodwill, I think we would have left this turbulent period behind long time ago,” he added.
On September 5, a trilateral Contact Group consisting of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) met in Minsk to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The meeting resulted in a series of agreements between the Ukrainian government and the self-proclaimed people's republics of Luhansk and Donetsk including an "all for all" prisoner exchange, additional humanitarian convoys from Russia to eastern Ukraine, and a ceasefire which began at 15:00 GMT the day of the meeting.
The meeting was preceded by Russian President Vladimir Putin's seven-point plan to stabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine which included ceasing military advances, the withdrawal of armed forces, a prisoner exchange, humanitarian aid, and international monitoring.
On September 19 the Contact Group met again in Minsk and formulated a memorandum outlining nine provisions to regulate the implementation of a ceasefire between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.
While the first point of the memorandum states the implementation of a bilateral ceasefire other points include the removal of weapons with a caliber of more than 100 millimeters within 15 kilometers of the contact line on both sides, including residential areas, establishing a 30-kilometer buffer zone. According to the memorandum, all foreign armed groups, military equipment, as well as fighters and mercenaries shall withdraw from the ceasefire zone under the supervision of the OSCE.