Russia issues conditions for the return of its officers to Joint Center for Control and Coordination in Donbas

Ukraine should "stop provocations" against the Russian military so that Russian officers can rejoin the Joint Center for Control and Coordination or JCCC, stated the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, RIA Novosti reported.

"For the return of Russian troops to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire in the Donbas, Kyiv must comply with all the conditions, first and foremost of which is putting an end to provocations against our officers," Slutsky said.

"Here too, apart from unfounded accusations, the West obviously needs to insist on real implementation from the Ukrainian authorities of their commitments under the Minsk agreements," he added.

On December 14, the observers of the OSCE mission received a letter from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation with the message that Russia was going to withdraw the JCCC officers of its Armed forces from the territory of Ukraine. On December 19, the said officers returned to Russia.

There were allegations that this demonstrated Russia's intention to aggravate the armed conflict. In particular, US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker implied said that this could lead to an escalation in the Donbas.

France, Germany and Poland have all urged Russia to return its officers to the JCCC.

  Russia, Donbas conflict, JCCC