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Heavy weaponry withdrawal starts in Ukraine under new peace agreements

February 16, 2015, 9:10 UTC+3 KIEV

A security zone should be established in the conflict zone within two weeks

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© AP Photo/Petr David Josek

KIEV, February 16. /TASS/. The next stage of implementing the Minsk agreements envisaging withdrawal of heavy weaponry starts in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Under the set of measures on implementing the Minsk agreements, adopted in the Belarusian capital on Thursday, a security zone should be established in the conflict zone within two weeks.

To this aim, artillery systems of 100 mm caliber or more will be withdrawn to a distance of at least 50 km from each other, multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) at the distance of 70 km and most powerful Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch MLRS, as well as tactical missile systems Tochka/Tochka U at the distance of 140 km.

The Kremlin earlier stressed the importance of strict compliance with the comprehensive ceasefire and the start of heavy weaponry withdrawal.

As a result of the Minsk talks, the participants of the Contact Group worked out a 13-point set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements. The document was signed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) envoy, Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and also the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.

The sides agreed that Ukrainian troops are to withdraw heavy weaponry from the actual contact line while armed formations of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics from the contact line in accordance with the Minsk memorandum as of September 19, 2014.

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