Noting the current suspension of monitoring exercises by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office due to the exceptional situation created by the spread of the Coronavirus, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Igor Popov of Russia, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States) appealed to the sides to reaffirm their commitment to observe the ceasefire strictly and refrain from any provocative action that could further raise tensions during this period.
“Recognizing that the region’s medical resources should be dedicated exclusively to combating the spread of the virus and treating those affected, we urge the sides to exercise the greatest possible restraint to lessen the risk of escalation including by making maximum use of the existing direct communication links,” the Co-Chairs said in a statement.
Despite the heavy restrictions on international travel, the Co-Chairs will continue their mediation efforts without interruption, remaining in close contact with each other and with the sides.
Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, announced earlier Thursday that the mission was suspending all monitoring exercises.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Monday called for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.
“it’s time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives – the COVID19 pandemic,” Guterres said in an announcement.