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Poroshenko’s plans to pull artillery back to Donbass inappropriate — Russia’s negotiator

November 03, 21:40 UTC+3

Poroshenko’s statement will be taken by people living on both sides of the contact line as a threat to their security, Boris Gryzlov said

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MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s words about readiness to pull artillery back to the contact line in Donbass look absolutely inappropriate amidst the Contact Groups efforts towards the conflict settlement, Russia’s chief negotiator at the Trilateral Contact Group Boris Gryzlov told TASS on Friday.

"First of all, Pyotr Poroshenko’s statement will be taken by people living on both sides of the contact line as a threat to their security," he said. "His words about readiness to pull back artillery and missile systems cannot but be alarming. They are especially inappropriate on the background of common efforts of the Minsk Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict."

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko called on the country’s armed forces to be prepared to return to the positions in the Donbass region they had to leave in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

"Today we need to hone our skills of deploying artillery units," he said at a military unit in the Kiev region on the occasion of Day of Missile Forces and Artillery. "You have been withdrawn from the line of engagement, but you must be ready to return there if that is necessary."

Under the Minsk agreements, the parties agreed to withdraw heavy weapons, including artillery systems with a caliber of over 100mm, to create a 30-kilometer safe zone along the entire contact line in the Donbass region.

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