Donetsk, May 28 - DAN. The Donetsk People’s Republic Foreign Ministry thanked the outgoing chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ertugrul Apakan, for his mediating efforts at the Donbass peace talks.

Earlier, the OSCE said that Apakan would step down on May 30 and that he would be replaced by career diplomat Yasar Cevik, who was Turkey’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 2012 to 2016.

“We thank Ambassador Apakan for his efforts in the negotiating process towards a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in Donbass. With OSCE SMM mediation under his guidance, we managed to reach solutions of certain practical issues and negotiate several ceasefires. Regrettably, not all efforts yielded the best result which is explained by Ukraine’s regular violations of and unscrupulous attitude to the Minsk Agreements, not the quality of the OSCE SMM’s work,” DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said.

She said that Donetsk hoped for a meeting with Apakan to express its gratitude for cooperation.

“We hope that his successor will take a responsible attitude to his duties and continue to actively promote direct dialogue between the two parties to the conflict: Ukraine and the Republics,” the DPR Foreign Ministry said.

It noted the fact that the OSCE mission, together with the Russian Federation, played an important mediating role in resolving the conflict.

Apakan has headed the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine since April 2, 2014.*jk