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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia's ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Tuesday it was still possible to avoid sending peacemakers to Ukraine’s war-torn south-east.
"Sending peacemakers to the demilitarized zone means freezing the conflict and for quite a long time," envoy Andrey Kelin told Rossiya-24 television news channel.
"This can probably still be avoided if we manage to take all the necessary steps outlined in the Minsk agreements," he said, referring to a new peace deal agreed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital Minsk last week.
"This is complete ceasefire alongside substantive and careful truce monitoring," Kelin stressed.
The deal reached after all-night negotiations between Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel included a ceasefire starting on February 15, followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.
"We can avoid sending peacemakers at this stage," Kelin said.
Monitors from the OSCE are asking for security guarantees in Debaltsevo in the Donetsk Region from all parties to the Ukrainian conflict, but no one can give them yet, Russia’s ambassador to the OSCE added.