Contact group on east Ukraine settlement should meet before July 5 - ministerial statement

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have supported the idea of holding a meeting of the trilateral contact group on settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine before July 5 in order to secure reconciliation and a ceasefire in that part of the country.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have supported the idea of holding a meeting of the trilateral contact group on settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine before July 5 in order to secure reconciliation and a ceasefire in that part of the country.

"The ministers call for the contact group to resume its work no later than July 5 in order to achieve an unconditional, mutually agreed and sustainable ceasefire," according to a statement issued after the ministers' meeting in Berlin on Wednesday. A copy of the document has been made available to Interfax.

The ministers also agreed that this ceasefire should be supervised by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

"In this context, the ministers agreed to implement all necessary measures and take advantage of the influence they have over the sides concerned in order to achieve this goal," the statement says.

Furthermore, the ministers reaffirmed the importance of securing the release of all hostages as soon as possible.

"The ministers also welcomed Russia's readiness to provide Ukrainian border guards with access to Russian territory to enable them to participate in control at the Gukovo and Donetsk border crossing points for the period of a mutual ceasefire," the document says.

In addition to that, the foreign ministers of these four countries said that control over the Izvarne and Chervonopartizansk border crossings should be returned to Ukraine, and OSCE monitors who will work at Russia's border crossing points should be provided with assistance.

"All sides ought to contribute to the creation of a secure environment," according to the statement.

The ministers also reiterated the need to ensure the security of journalists working in Ukraine's eastern regions.

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