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Russian, Ukrainian armed forces' general staff chiefs to hold talks Friday — Poroshenko

February 12, 2015, 15:26 UTC+3 MINSK
The military officials will discuss effective control over the ceasefire regime observance in eastern Ukraine
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MINSK, February 12. /TASS/. Chiefs of the Ukrainian and Russian General Staffs Viktor Muzhenko and Valery Gerasimov will hold talks on Friday on effective control over the ceasefire regime observance, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said after the Ukraine settlement summit in Minsk that ended on Thursday, the Ukrainian News agency reports.

According to Poroshenko, the ceasefire agreement was the most important thing the negotiators have achieved. "I’ve been told that the Contact Group has signed a document that was prepared amid much tension and difficulty. Most importantly, the agreement on the establishment of an unconditional and comprehensive ceasefire regime at 00:00 hours of the 15th [of February] overnight from Saturday to Sunday has been reached," he said.

Poroshenko said that the Contact Group agreed on the release of "all the hostages and illegally held persons" based on the "all for all" principle, as well as on the heavy weapons pullback. "They are to be released within 19 days. All must be released," he said.

Poroshenko reiterated that "there have been no agreements of any kind on the autonomy or federalization."

In a many-hour negotiating marathon that ended on Thursday, the leaders of the "Normandy quartet" - Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany - reached new Minsk agreements. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the sides have reached an agreement on the most vital issue and on many things.

According to Putin, two key agreements: first - on a ceasefire in Donbas as of 00:00 of February 15, and the second highly important one - on the pullback of heavy armaments and measures on a long-term political settlement of the situation, are the main outcome of the negotiations.

"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 pm, local time (20:15 pm, Moscow time) of February 11.

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