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France plans to train Ukrainian combat engineers — declaration

April 22, 2015, 19:32 UTC+3 PARIS
The presidents of the two countries welcomed France’s consent to train Ukrainian sappers to defuse self-made explosive devices
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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

PARIS, April 22. /TASS/. France is ready to support Ukraine in the fight against organized crime and in the strengthening of domestic security, says a joint declaration signed in Paris on Wednesday by presidents Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko.

"The presidents of the two countries welcomed France’s consent to train Ukrainian sappers to defuse self-made explosive devices," the document says.

The move is aimed to "protect the civilian population from the consequences of the armed conflict" in Donbas, the declaration says.

Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire at talks in September 2014 in the Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire has reportedly been numerously violated since. There have been several meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group on east Ukrainian settlement comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE and of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) aimed at finding ways to diplomatically and politically settle the intra-Ukrainian conflict.

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