OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed the Framework Decision on Disengagement of Forces and Hardware agreed by the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on 21 September 2016.
“After many months of stagnation, efforts have finally been gaining momentum since last week,” Steinmeier said in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Months of hard work behind the scenes will hopefully now bear fruit. We have had to learn that neither declarations of goodwill nor commitments to withdraw arms have been sufficient to ensure that weapons turn and remain silent. The framework decision is a new instrument to calm the situation along the line of contact. Initially, disengagement is to be implemented immediately in three hotspots. More locations must rapidly follow, so that disengagement can be ensured along the entire line of contact. A sustained ceasefire alone will not ensure implementation of the Minsk agreements, but without silent weapons along the line of contact, we will not make any political headway.
Currently, there are no guarantees. Without willingness by the sides to adhere to previously-made agreements, there will also be no progress at this time.”