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MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Kiev’s policy leads to further separation of Donbas, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"It is becoming evident that the policy of the Ukrainian authorities, based on absence of dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk, is leading to separation of the regions," Zakharova said.
"Organizing direct dialogue [between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk] has key significance for peace and stability to be achieved in the southeast of Ukraine," she underscored.
According to the spokeswoman, Moscow expects a deal on withdrawing weapons with the caliber of under 100mm will be reached and will contribute to the long-term settlement in Donbas.
"The signing of an agreement on withdrawing armaments with the caliber of under 100mm, mortars and tanks and a supplement to it on verification measures will decrease tensions and create preconditions for the long-term settlement," Zakharova told reporters.
Moscow hopes that the continuing effort in this direction "will be successful and all the participants of the process will put their signatures on the documents," she said, adding that the ongoing economic blockade of Donbas worsens the humanitarian situation in the region.
The diplomat noted that the ceasefire is generally observed, adding that "this is a very important step towards deescalating the situation." Both Russian and Ukrainian representatives of the joint center for control and coordination (JCCC) and the OSCE monitors confirm that over the past two weeks the situation remains calm in Donbas, she said.
The Contact Group on resolving the crisis in southeastern Ukraine agreed at the meeting in Minsk, Belarus, in late August to ensure ceasefire starting from September 1.