VIENNA, BELGRADE -- OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ivica Dacic has reiterated his call to all sides in the Ukrainian conflict to return to the negotiating table.
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He "expressed hope that the Contact Group members and all the signatories of the Minsk documents will gather for a new round of peace consultations in Minsk as soon as possible."
"I urge all sides involved in the conflict to stop the hostilities and return to the negotiating table. The international community expects the signatories of the Minsk documents to honor their commitments and pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Dacic said, expressing full support to the work of the Contact Group for Ukraine.
Earlier on Thursday, Dacic said that Serbia, as the country that is currently holding the OSCE chairmanship, will insist on a deescalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
“The Minsk accords are not dead, but the situation on the ground is often different from what is being said in meetings,” Dacic told reporters after touring the OSCE Mission in Belgrade, asked about the Minsk accords "and Kiev's claims concerning the inflow of Russian troops."
Dacic said that the consultations will on Friday be held with OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini regarding the situation on the ground, and that the OSCE Troika will hold a meeting in Munich on February 7 that will bring together the previous, incumbent and next CiOs- the foreign ministers of Switzerland, Serbia and Germany - for discussions on the situation and next steps.
“We insist on a ceasefire and adherence to all the agreements from Minsk,” Dacic said, noting that any breach of the Minsk agreements is “absolutely unacceptable”.
“As the OSCE chairperson-in-office, I condemn in the strongest terms any break in the ceasefire, as such moves lead to a loss of lives,” Dacic said.
As regards the Ukraine crisis, Serbia does not want to be on anyone's side, except on the side of principles, Dacic said, stressing that Serbia recognizes "the territorial integrity of Ukraine."