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Donetsk republic says no weaponry withdrawal until Kiev stops shellings

February 16, 2015, 15:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier on Monday a group of thirty journalists at the Donetsk airport witnessed shelling carried out from Kiev’s positions

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© Nikolai Muravyev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic is not planning to pull back heavy weaponry until Kiev troops halt shellings, the deputy commander of the DPR’s Defense Ministry’s corps, Eduard Basurin, said on Monday.

"Under the Minsk memorandum, the armament withdrawal may take place in certain conditions, including after the full ceasefire and you see what is happening at the airport and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are again shelling the airport’s territory and the adjacent areas," Basurin said.

"The heavy weaponry withdrawal starts only after the ceasefire. And if the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not stop shellings, which come in violation of the Minsk agreements, the DPR militias will not pull back their weaponry," Basurin was quoted by the Donetsk news agency as saying.

The agency reported that earlier on Monday a group of thirty journalists at the airport witnessed shelling carried out from Kiev’s positions. Donetsk republic’s envoy to the Contact Group, Denis Pushilin, in an interview with the Russian News Service blamed the shellings on those units that are not subordinate to the Kiev authorities. Pushilin stressed that militias would not open fire first.

The leader of Ukraine's radical nationalist Right Sector organization, Dmytro Yarosh, announced last week that the group refused to recognize the Minsk agreements reached on February 12.

"Two my battalions, which are well-armed and equipped, continue the offensive near Debaltseve and have serious military results," said the leader of the group, which is banned as extremist in Russia.

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