The crisis in and around Ukraine is a key security issue on the European continent, said the OSCE Chairman and foreign Minister of Slovakia Miroslav lajčák in an interview with the project “Face the world” (“Face of Peace”).

“The number of accidents we’ve seen in Eastern Ukraine over the past five years, higher than we have seen anywhere in Europe in this century”, – he explained.

The OSCE Chairman expressed his belief that the Special monitoring mission, which now includes more than 1.3 million members since its deployment in Ukraine in the spring of 2014, is doing extremely important work. “Our observers are in the field, monitor and report violations of the cease-fire, watching the latest developments and challenges faced by the people,” he said.

Lajčák also appreciated the current situation in the East of Ukraine, noting that the agreement on cease-fire since July 21, 2019, has been a positive event, which was followed by a significant decrease in the number of civilian casualties and violations of the cease-fire. “However, unfortunately, recently (as of October 11, 2019 – if) there were days when there were more cease fire violations than agreement,” he said.

At the same time, OSCE Chairman drew attention to the fact that “the positive dynamics between Russia and Ukraine led to the exchange of prisoners”, noted the important steps taken in the framework of the Trilateral contact group on settling the situation in Donbas, where the parties have agreed to the disengagement process and the “formula Steinmeier”, and also remembered the repair work to help people in crossing the bridge in the Village of Lugansk.

Lajcak also expressed the hope that it will soon host a summit of the leaders of “Norman Quartet” (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia). “Were also very good discussions in the “Norman format”, which I hope will lead to a long-awaited summit of the leaders of “Norman Quartet” – explained the head of the OSCE.

Slovakia holds the presidency of the OSCE from January 1, 2019, from the time the organization is headed by Miroslav Lajcak. Earlier, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim pristayko, invited the OSCE Chairman to visit the Village of the Luhansk and inspect the work on the renewal of infrastructure.