OSCE Chair Rama Expected To Visit Ukraine Next Week - Russian Envoy

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th January, 2020) The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office Edi Rama's visit to Ukraine is scheduled for January 20-21, Russia's envoy to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, said on Thursday.

Rama, who is also Albanian foreign and prime minister, said last week that Albania, which took over the OSCE chairmanship in 2020, would contribute to the implementation of the Minsk agreements to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

"We expect that the visit of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, scheduled for January 20-21, will have a stimulating effect on the implementation of the package of measures," Lukashevich said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.

The Russian envoy added that Rama should not only visit the Kiev-controlled territories but also the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR, DPR) on the other side of the contact line.

"This will allow us to see and evaluate the real consequences of the ongoing Kiev military operation in the Donbas region," Lukashevich said.

In April 2014, the Ukrainian government launched an offensive against the LPR and DPR, together Donbas, which claimed independence after what they considered to be a coup in Ukraine two months earlier. Prospects for peace have been discussed in various forms, including during the meetings of the Contact Group in Minsk, which, since September 2014, has already adopted three documents regulating steps to de-escalate the conflict. Nevertheless, fighting in the region continues.