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Russian diplomat blames Kiev for disengagement of forces in Donbass faiure

March 07, 17:40 UTC+3

Earlier, a Lugansk minilitary official said once again that Kiev will be ready to withdraw its weapons from the line of engagement only if the ceasefire is observed for seven days

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. The disengagement of manpower and materiel near Stanitsa Luganskaya in the Donbass region scheduled for Tuesday did not take place because of Kiev’s stance, Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, said.

"Unfortunately, the disengagement of forces did not take place again. There were no reasons for that, except for the stance assumed by the Ukrainian side. We are waiting for the comments from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission on the issue," he noted.

On March 1, members of the Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine region agreed on the disengagement of manpower and materiel close to Stanitsa Luganskaya on March 7. This populated locality was one of the first so-called safety zones that were to be set up in the Donbass region in accordance with the agreements reached last September. However, to date, the parties have been able to secure the withdrawal of weapons only in two places - close to the village of Petrovskoye (the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, DPR) and the city of Zolotoye (the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, LPR). All attempts to set up a safety zone near Stanitsa Luganskaya have been futile.

Earlier on Tuesday, deputy head of the Lugansk Military and Civil Administration, Yuri Klimenko, said once again that Kiev will be ready to withdraw its weapons from the line of engagement only if the ceasefire is observed for seven days. For its part, the LPR people’s militia said it was ready to withdraw weapons from the Stanitsa Luganskaya area without such preconditions, but if guarantees are provided that the Ukrainian armed forces will take similar steps.

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