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Minsk talks participants agree on ceasefire, weapons withdrawal, Donbas reform — Putin

February 12, 2015, 12:43 UTC+3 MINSK
The ceasefire in Ukraine is due to start at midnigt on February 15, the Russian president says
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MINSK, February 12. /TASS/. The package of measures to implement the Minsk Accords, adopted on Thursday, envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometers wide for artillery systems with a caliber of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the tactical rocket systems Tochka-U.

The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement and the militias of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.

"The pullback of the mentioned heavy armaments should begin no later than the second day after the ceasefire and be completed within fourteen days," the package of measures says. The document points out that the OSCE will promote this process with support from the Trilateral Contact Group."

The package of measures contains a special item requiring "effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regimen and pullout of heavy armaments by the OSCE as of the first day of the pullback, with the use of all required technical means, including satellites, drones, radars and other systems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin briefed the media on the results of the 16-hour-long talks by the Normandy quartet. He said the negotiations had produced an agreement on a ceasefire in Donbas as of 00:00 of February 15, the pullback of heavy armaments and measures on a long-term political settlement of the situation.

"The way I see it, we have agreed many things. Firstly, on a ceasefire as of 00:00 of February 15," the Russian leader said. The second agreed item the Russian leader regards as very important, is the pullback of heavy weapons from the current engagement line for the Ukrainian forces and from the line set under the September 19 Minsk Accords for the Donbas militias.

Putin also mentioned a "set of issues related to long-term political settlement."

"There are several points here: first, a constitutional reform that must accommodate the legitimate rights of people resident in Donbas," Putin said.

There are also measures to settle border issues by coordination with Donbas militias, humanitarian issues, implementation of the earlier adopted law on the special status of these territories - Donetsk and Luhansk," Putin said.

The Normandy quartet negotiations by the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France and German chancellor in Minsk proceeded in various formats (in private and with other delegations taking part for a total of 16 hours) from 19:15 local time (20:15 Moscow time) of February 11.

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