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MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/ calls on Kiev to ensure unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the DPR defence ministry, said on Friday.
"We call on the Ukrainian leaders to ensure unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements and to secure real centralized control over all their armed groups that can undermine the peace process, which is moving on with such big difficulties, by their unsanctioned actions," Basurin said, adding that the term for Ukraine’s withdrawal of heavy weapons from the actual line of contact to the distance fixed in the Minsk agreements expired on March 7.
He underscored that further fulfilment of the Minsk agreements would depend on "Kiev’s ability to ensure complete implementation of its liabilities on weapons pullout in the term it fixed and on the public reaction of the Western countries on Kiev’s possible frustration of this provision of the Minsk agreements."
The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19, 2014 in Minsk. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014. The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
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.
Concurrently, the Belarusian capital hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, both acting as mediators.
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 Lugansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.