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Iran Press TV

No salary rise due to east Ukraine military operation: PM

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:29PM

The Ukrainian prime minister says the costs of military operations in the country's volatile east have made it impossible for the Kiev officials to increase salaries and pensions.

'At the moment, the country does not have resources for this [salary increase] as all resources are spent on defense, security, army, tanks, weapons, on strengthening security, building a border,' said Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Saturday.

The premier added that 5.2 percent of Ukraine's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dedicated to the military which is the country's "first priority" at the moment.

This is while the fierce fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia forces has relatively abated in the east of the country after the Minsk ceasefire deal and the two warring sides have started to withdraw their heavy weaponry from the conflict zone.

Paris 'satisfied' with Ukraine truce implementation

Earlier in the day, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said Paris is satisfied with the implementation of the Minsk agreement as both sides are pressing ahead with pulling their weapons out of the frontline.

"France satisfactorily notes that ceasefire in east Ukraine is in general observed by both sides,' stated Alexandre Giorgini, adding, 'We approve the continuing process of heavy weaponry withdrawal which must be carried out in compliance with the package of measures adopted in Minsk.'

The French official also called on Kiev and pro-Russians to help the representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with their monitoring mission in the region.

"We call upon all sides to ease the process of observing and monitoring the ceasefire and heavy weaponry withdrawal for OSCE and provide full access for observes on the whole territory," he added.

East Ukraine ceasefire deal

During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine's front lines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 14.

Source of conflict

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

In May 2014, the situation in the two flashpoint regions started to worsen as residents overwhelmingly voted for independence from Ukraine in referendums.

FNR/HMV/SS



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