DPR Ready to Appeal to Minsk Group if Kiev Fails to Withdraw Weapons
19:23 24.02.2015(updated 20:25 24.02.2015)
DPR top negotiator said that authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine will appeal to the international guarantors of the recent Minsk agreements if Kiev fails to meet the deadline on the withdrawal of its heavy weaponry.
DONETSK (Sputnik) – Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine will appeal to the international guarantors of the recent Minsk agreements if Kiev fails to meet the deadline on the withdrawal of its heavy weaponry from the separation line, the DPR top negotiator said Tuesday.
'We are noticing that Kiev is not in a hurry to pullout heavy weaponry, although they have 14 days to do so,' Denis Pushilin told reporters in Donetsk.
'If they keep lagging behind on schedule, we will, naturally, call on countries-guarantors to interfere in the implementation of these [Minsk agreements],' Pushilin stressed.
Kiev military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said earlier on Tuesday that government troops could start heavy weaponry pullout only if the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine remained stable for at least 48 hours.
The warring parties were both given two weeks to pull their artillery out of striking distance under the new ceasefire deal, which was agreed upon on February 12. The ceasefire came into force on February 15, and the withdrawal was to begin the next day.
A week past the deadline, Ukrainian heavy weapons were still on their positions along the eastern frontline. The command said they could not follow through on the Minsk allegedly due to continued shelling by anti-Kiev militias. The latter accused Kiev of breaching the truce.
Earlier in the day, militias in the breakaway Donetsk said they had started to pull out their heavy weapons in accordance with the roadmap.
The peace plan was hammered out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, the so-called Normandy Four. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a security body, has been tasked with supervising the pullout.
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