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Kiev to Complete First Stage of Heavy Weaponry Withdrawal Sunday

Sputnik News

15:02 01.03.2015(updated 15:25 01.03.2015)

The self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk said they had already completed the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the line of contact earlier on Sunday.

KIEV (Sputnik) – Kiev forces will complete the first stage of their heavy weapons' pullout in east Ukraine's Donbas region on Sunday, Ukrainian military spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh told RIA Novosti.

The withdrawal of heavy artillery is one of the key points of the ceasefire deal, reached by Kiev forces and Ukraine's breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in February.

Under the agreement, the Ukrainian government troops and independence supporters were to withdraw heavy weaponry within two weeks after the truce took effect on February 15.

"The first stage of the 100-mm 'Rapira' [anti-tank] guns pullout is coming to an end," Stelmakh said, adding that the stage would be completed on Sunday.

The self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk said they completed the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the line of contact earlier on Sunday.

Stelmakh expressed hope that the ceasefire would hold, but warned that Kiev forces are ready to attack the independent militias in case it is violated.

"As soon as we see that there is no shelling of our positions, we will continue to withdraw the artillery of other calibers," he said.

Stelmakh was unable to specify what portion of Kiev's heavy weapons had already been withdrawn. Earlier, deputy commander of the Donetsk militia Eduard Basurin claimed that the Ukrainian army had pulled out only 15 percent of its heavy weaponry as of Saturday.

Sputnik



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