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KIEV, March 5. /TASS/. The Ukrainian forces have announced launching the next stage of artillery withdrawal from the disengagement line in Donbas Thursday.
"BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers are being withdrawn from the disengagement line to permanent bases," the military operation headquarters wrote on its social network page.
On March 4, Ukrainian forces completed the withdrawal of 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled artillery, the headquarters representative Anatoly Stelmakh said on Thursday.
Kiev has vowed to complete heavy weaponry withdrawal from the disengagement line in Donbas by March 7, representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic Denis Pushilin told TASS on Tuesday.
Pushilin said he is "moderately optimistic" after a videoconference of the Contact Group on Ukraine. "We managed to agree on several issues. The main result was that the Ukrainian side confirmed its plans to withdraw weapons by March 7. They vowed to complete [the withdrawal] by this date," Pushilin said.
"This is very important for us as we have completed the withdrawal ahead of schedule," he noted.
The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) envoy Vladislav Deinego earlier said that the Contact Group on Ukraine plans to assess the implementation of the package of measures adopted on February 12, 2015 in Minsk at the beginning of March. "Mainly, [the Contact Group] will discuss the agreements on weaponry withdrawal and ceasefire," Deinego said.
DPR and LPR have completed heavy weaponry withdrawal in accordance with the Minsk agreements by March 1. The Ukrainian forces announced they started weaponry withdrawal on February 26.