The OSCE SMM does not exclude a new escalation of the conflict in the Donbass until the heavy weapons, forbidden by the Minsk agreements, will be along the line of demarcation. This was stated by the First Deputy Chairman of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine Alexander Hug in his interview to Radio Svoboda.
"New outbreaks of violence cannot be excluded in the current situation unless something would be fundamentally changed in the current accumulation of heavy weapons near the line of contact. We know that these weapons still present there, and as long as this continues, a new escalation of the conflict is likely. It can happen any day, because it was used and will use in the future, if this level of stress and mistrust will be saved", – Hug said.
He also does not exclude that the new escalation of tension and violence can be more powerful than the one that was recently around Avdiivka.
According to him, the second condition for the stabilization of situation in the Donbass is the complete rejection of the parties to further offensive and approach. Instead, he believes, the positions of Ukrainian government troops and separatists should increase the distance between themselves.
"It is necessary to stop the approach and offensive of one towards the other, but vice versa, it is necessary to increase the distance between them. This will help to set the "regime of quiet" and will make the situation more predictable. Because the current unpredictability is caused exactly by the excessive closeness between the positions and the presence of heavy weapons. Increasing of the amount and duration of the fighting over the last 4-8 weeks is exactly the consequence of such a situation", - Alexander Hug stated.