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Ukraine crisis Swiss urge implementation of Ukraine ceasefire

The deal requires all heavy weaponry to be withdrawn from the front

(Keystone)

The Swiss foreign ministry welcomed the ceasefire agreement achieved after a mammoth round of negotiations between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in Belarus on Thursday. The ceasefire will come into effect on Sunday.

 “It is now a matter of urgency to implement the accord. It is a prerequisite for the stabilisation of the situation in eastern Ukraine,” said foreign minister Didier Burkhalter.

The deal was reached after all-night negotiations between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. The agreement was brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande.

Swiss ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, in her capacity as the special representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) also signed the document.

The deal envisages a ceasefire as well as the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry from the front commencing on Sunday. It also indicates broader autonomy for eastern Ukraine in return for restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty over pro-Russian rebel-held territory by the end of 2015.

The Swiss foreign ministry warned the despite the agreement the risk of violence still remains. It pointed out the key role of the OSCE in drafting the agreement and called on all relevant parties to support the organisation politically and financially to help it accomplish its mission.

Switzerland headed the OSCE last year and has since transferred that role to Serbia. However, the Swiss delegation continues to be part of the so-called Troika, which is made up of the current, former and next-serving OSCE heads.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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