Luhansk Withdraws 80% of Heavy Weaponry From Line of Contact
17:00 28.02.2015(updated 17:37 28.02.2015)
The heavy weaponry pullout is scheduled to be completed by March 2-3, press center of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic says.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) has withdrawn 80 percent of its heavy weaponry from the line of contact, the republic's press center announced Saturday.
'As of midday February 28, the people's militia corps secured the withdrawal of 80 percent of heavy weapons from the line of demarcation,' the press center announcement read.
It was added that the pullout was scheduled to be completed by March 2-3, 'in the absence of emergency situations.'
The republic's envoy at the Contact Group talks on Ukrainian reconciliation Vladislav Deinego reaffirmed LPR's strict adherence with the Minsk accord to RIA Novosti earlier on Friday.
According to Deinego, two columns of large-caliber arms were to be withdrawn from the frontline under the supervision of a monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Luhansk and Donetsk, the two regions in eastern Ukraine, and Kiev authorities initially agreed to withdraw heavy arms from the contact line in September 2014, when the first ceasefire deal was reached in Minsk, Belarus.
In the first weeks of 2015, hostilities between government forces and pro-independence fighters erupted in southeast Ukraine despite the truce.
In a bid to alleviate the nearly year-long conflict, the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders convened in Minsk on February 11, emerging 16 hours later with a new ceasefire deal in force from February 15.
The warring parties in southeast Ukraine again vowed to withdraw heavy weapons. Kiev later stated that the pullback would begin only after sporadic attacks ceased entirely.
On Thursday, Kiev begun the withdrawal of heavy weapons along the entire contact line, while Donetsk forces said the same day that it had withdrawn 90 percent of its heavy weaponry.
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