Donbas Envoys Accuse Kiev of Attempts to Jeopardize Weapons Pullout Plan
21:18 25.02.2015(updated 22:14 25.02.2015)
Envoys from self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego said in a joint statement that the Ukrainian officials are attempting to make ineffective the plan for withdrawal of heavy military equipment.
DONETSK (Sputnik) – Kiev is attempting to jeopardize the heavy weapons withdrawal plan developed by the Joint Coordination Center for Ceasefire Monitoring under the recent Minsk peace agreements, envoys from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics said Wednesday.
'The Ukrainian officials are attempting to make ineffective the plan for withdrawal of [heavy military] equipment starting on February 22, which has been developed by the Joint Coordination Centre and signed by the [conflicting] sides,' Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego said in a joint statement after the latest round of teleconferencing talks on the Ukrainian ceasefire.
The envoys said the Donbas militia has pulled out some 400 pieces of heavy military equipment from the separation line in eastern Ukraine since February 22, while Kiev-led forces have not moved a single piece.
The withdrawal of heavy artillery from the line of contact in war-torn Donbas was agreed upon by the warring sides earlier in February during peace talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The list of measures agreed on by the international mediators also stipulates a ceasefire that came into force on February 15 and an all-for-all prisoner swap among other points.
'After today's meeting of the Contact Group we can see the tendency, which puts the negotiability of the Ukrainian side under question: Kiev makes yet another attempt to revoke a signature of its representative,' Pushilin and Deinego said.
Under the agreement reached in Minsk, Kiev and independence supporters must withdraw their heavy artillery to a distance of 30-85 miles from the line separating the government forces and the DPR and LPR militia.
However, Kiev military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said on Tuesday that government troops could start a heavy weaponry pullout only if the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine remained stable for at least 48 hours.
The eastern Ukrainian envoys have nevertheless expressed hope that Kiev will begin a weaponry withdrawal in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
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