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Russia says inadmissible to capture areas in Donbass ‘grey zone’ — envoy

November 29, 21:49 UTC+3

Ukraine is still refusing to publish orders on punishment of ceasefire violators, the Russian Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov said

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MINSK, November 29. /TASS/. It is inadmissible that the Ukrainian Armed Forces capture areas in so-called ‘grey zone’ along the contact line in Donbass, said Boris Gryzlov, the Russian Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative to the Contact Group seeking a peace solution to the conflict in east Ukraine.

"The key issues of Contact Group’s meeting have been security measures and the ceasefire which the parties to the conflict have officially vowed to maintain," Gryzlov said on Wednesday after a regular meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk, Belarus.

"The Russian delegation has pointed out in a tough manner it is inadmissible that Ukraine’s Armed Forces are seizing areas and advancing to new positions in the ‘grey zone’ along the contact line as it runs counter to the ceasefire agreement," he said.

Ukraine is still refusing to publish orders on punishment of ceasefire violators, which the sides has earlier agreed, he added.

"Ukraine is refusing to publish the orders on punishment for the ceasefire breaches and on disciplinary measures for violations of the existing agreement," he added. "It should be done to prevent incidents resulting in human deaths."

The self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) published relevant issues over two months ago, Gryzlov said.

Creeping offensive

Under the Minsk Agreements signed by the Contact Group in February 2015, the parties were to withdraw heavy weapons in order to set up a 50-kilometer-wide security zone. In September 2015, the Contact Group adopted an additional document which stipulated establishing a 30-kilometer buffer zone (or grey zone). For the purpose, the parties had to pull light weapons 15 kilometers away from the line of disengagement.

However, Kiev violated the Minsk Agreements launching a so-called creeping offensive aimed at seizing settlements located in the grey zone. According to the DPR and LPR, in 2015 and 2016 the Ukrainian military captured eight populated localities in the buffer zone. Now the Kiev authorities openly admit the ‘creeping de-occupation’ of Donbass.

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