Kiev to Withdraw Artillery Only When Ceasefire Holds
12:21 23.02.2015(updated 17:37 23.02.2015)
The Kiev forces will withdraw heavy weaponry from the line of contact with independence supporters in eastern Ukraine only after the ceasefire is fully implemented, a military spokesman said Monday.
KIEV (Sputnik) – Earlier this month, the warring sides agreed on a ceasefire, which started on February 15. Under the deal, brokered by leaders of Russia, France and Germany, both parties must now pull out heavy artillery from the line of contact.
'The first stage of the Minsk agreements is the full ceasefire. As soon as militants stop firing on our positions, we will implement the second phase. At the moment the ceasefire is not fully implemented,' Anatoly Stelmakh told reporters.
On Sunday, deputy commander of the Donetsk independence militia, Eduard Basurin, said the withdrawal of heavy artillery in Donbas will start on February 24 and will be completed within 14 days. Basurin claimed that Donetsk has already withdrawn eight 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled guns, six D-30 howitzers and six Grad multiple-launch rocket systems from the line of contact with Kiev forces.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has said that the ceasefire is generally holding, but reported several truce violations, particularly in the Luhansk region.
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