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Ukraine does not need peacekeepers — UN envoy

February 13, 2015, 21:40 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The diplomat says monitoring by the OSCE is sufficient at the present stage
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UNITED NATIONS, February 13./TASS/. Ukraine does not need peacekeepers to maintain a ceasefire and help in the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Yury Sergeyev told TASS on Friday.

He said observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would be enough at the moment, as well as a clear abidance by the agreements reached in Minsk.

"They (peacekeepers) are not needed," he said. "We have agreement on the mechanisms that can work, in principle, that is why monitoring by the OSCE would be sufficient at the present stage, I think," the diplomat said.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19, 2014 in Minsk. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.

The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

At Minsk talks the "Normandy format" on Ukraine crisis settlement on February 11-12, a package of measures was adopted to implement the Minsk agreements. Ceasefire in eastern Ukraine will be implemented starting from February 15, and heavy weaponry will be withdrawn from the disengagement line.

The package of measures 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 Lugansk 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.

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