Foreign Minister Gabriel issued the following statement today (22 June) on the agreement on a harvest ceasefire in eastern Ukraine:
It is good that the conflicting parties agreed yesterday through OSCE mediation on a harvest ceasefire which is to apply all along the contact line from midnight on Saturday. We worked hard for this in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.
Such a ceasefire is not only going to make it possible to bring in the harvest, it is also intended to save lives. Far too many people have lost their lives in recent months along the contact line. This makes it all the more important that the ceasefire agreed a long time ago is now finally respected and that both sides can start with the overdue withdrawal of heavy weapons and the disengagement of troops.
It is however also important that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is able to monitor the agreed ceasefire. To do so, the monitors need unhindered and secure access to the entire conflict area. The attacks and the massive hindrances that they have been subjected to in recent days and weeks, above all in areas not under the control of the Government, must halt without dela