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MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Kiev to properly respond to the initiative of Donetsk and Lugansk on a unilateral ceasefire as of midnight on September 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Russian side sees this decision by Donetsk and Lugansk "as an important concrete step aimed at consolidating the ceasefire declared by the parties in connection with the beginning of a new academic year on September 1, stabilization of the situation in the conflict zone and, ultimately, a peaceful settlement in southeastern Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreements."
"Taking into account the intention to work towards consolidating the ceasefire confirmed by Ukraine’s representatives during a video conference on September 13, we are calling on Kiev to properly respond to the initiative of Donetsk and Lugansk, so that the ceasefire on the line of contact becomes stable and long-term paving the way to peace and stability in the region," the ministry said.
Moscow expects that partners in the Normandy format (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) will support this move and the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for its part will provide practical assistance for establishing silence regime in full there.
The participants of the Contact Group on settlement in eastern Ukraine at the meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on August 26 declared an indefinite ceasefire in Donbass starting from September 1. This was the ninth attempt since autumn 2014 to observe the silence regime in the region. However, the sides continue accusing each other of ceasefire violations.
The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, announced on Tuesday a unilateral ceasefire that will go into effect at midnight on September 15. They ordered the militias on Tuesday to refrain from retaliatory fire in response to any provocations from Ukrainian troops and the National Guard. Kiev’s representative in the Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination said the Ukrainian side was ready to maintain the ceasefire in Donbass indefinitely.