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Ukraine’s troops say they have no order to withdraw weapons from engagement line

July 19, 2015, 18:01 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, July 19. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military taking part in a force operation in Donbass have received no orders to pull weapons of under 100 caliber out from the line of engagement, actinf spokesman for the Ukrainian Army’s General Staff Vladislav Seleznyov said on Sunday.

"We have received no orders, no documents binding us to withdraw weapons of a cilber less than 100mm to a certain distance," Ukrinform quoted him as saying.

He said a more definite decision on that matter might be expected at a next meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine due to take place in Minsk on July 21.

On Sunday, militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics [DPR and LPR] began to withdraw military hardware equipped with weapons with a caliber less than 100mm away from the line of engagement. The process of withdrawal is being monitored by representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE], the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination [JCCC] and the DPR defence ministry.

Earlier, LPR’s representative at the Minsk talks Vladislav DEinego and DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko made a joint statement on unilateral withdrawal of weapons of a caliber under 100 mm from the line of engagement.

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, 2015 after 14-hour negotiations between the leaders of Normandy Four [Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko] in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk. Concurrently, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement.

A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.

The ceasefire however has been repeatedly violated.

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