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Kiev says militias should withdraw heavy weaponry first

October 10, 2014, 15:39 UTC+3 KIEV
Under the terms of Minsk Memorandum, both militias and Ukrainian forces are to withdraw their heavy artillery 15 kilometers from the frontline, creating a 30 kilometer buffer zone
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© EPA/KONSTANTIN GRISHIN

KIEV, October 10. /TASS/. The Ukrainian side on Friday promised to start moving heavy hardware to the 15-kilometer line in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions after militias make the first step.

“As soon as we see that the withdrawal of weaponry has started, we will also launch this process, and furthermore we have prepared the sites for the weaponry,” a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko told journalists.

Under the terms of Minsk Memorandum adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on September 20, both militias and Ukrainian forces are to withdraw their heavy artillery 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the frontline, creating a 30 kilometer buffer zone. The process, however, has not been yet launched.

The memorandum follows a general agreement reached during the talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5 which implemented the ceasefire on the same day.

Since the ceasefire regime in Ukraine’s east took effect, Kiev’s authorities have redeployed several hundred armored vehicles there, Ukrainian presidential adviser Yuriy Lutsenko said on Wednesday. “I have no right to specify the figure, but I assure you: hundreds of armored vehicles have been moved to the front these days. And thousands of much better trained troops are now in rotation,” he said.

According to Lysenko, the ceasefire in the east of Ukraine has allowed Kiev’s security forces to regroup, optimize operation of the defense industry enterprises and complete the third mobilization wave.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said last week that Kiev should effectively use the ceasefire regime in order to improve the defense and boost the army’s combat effectiveness.

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