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MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. The Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) of ceasefire issues is reporting heavy weapons pullout only on the territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Russia’s representative at the JCCC Alexander Lentsov said on Tuesday.
"The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have submitted to the JCCC schedules of heavy weapons pullout, under which the DPR and LPR are to finish pullout of artillery systems with the caliber of more than 100 mm and more to a distance fixed in the Minsk agreements in a period from February 25 to 27," he said.
"At the same time, the Ukrainian side submitted to the JCCC a schedule of heavy weapons pullout, where it fixed a day starting from which they agreed to implement the plan, but not concrete terms of the pullout. A representative of the Ukrainian armed forces informed the JCCC that Ukraine would begin to pull out heavy weapons only is case the ceasefire regime was observed for 24 hours," Lentsov said.
"As of now, the Joint Center for Control and Coordination is reporting heavy weapons pullout only in the DPR and LPR," he added.
"Tomorrow, Russia’s representation at the Joint Center, together with representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), plans to assist parties to the conflict in implementing the plan of control over ceasefire and heavy weapons pullout," he said.
Marathon talks between the Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - in Minsk on February 12 yielded a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.
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 Luhansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
In a period from February 19 to February 21, the parties to the conflict - representatives of the DPR and LPR militias and the Ukrainian army - signed a plan of control over ceasefire and heavy weapons pullout. This way, the parties to the conflict reiterated their readiness to pull heavy weapons from February 22 to March 7, 2015.