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MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is surprised to hear that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is not ready to confirm DPR’s withdrawal of weapons of a caliber less than 100mm from the kine of engagement, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the DPR defense ministry said on Monday.
"Like deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug, we are no less interested in symmetrical withdrawal of Ukrainian armoured vehicles from the line of engagement," he said in a statement. "But it looks strange to say ‘we observed the withdrawal of DPR and LPR weapons from the line of contact,’ but ‘we cannot confirm it.’"
"To report a withdrawal of weapons from a particular place one should observe and confirm its absence in a three-kilometre strip off the line of engagement," Basurin stressed.
"This is what the leaders of the two republics said, and we are implementing this decision in the presence of OSCE monitors," he said. "So, here is the question: what representatives of this organization came to our positions on these days for? To enjoy the sight of armoured vehicles moving over irregular terrain?"
"If OSCE representatives are really interested in the soonest establishment of peace, we would like them to be that scrupulous in respect of those who is doing nothing at all to demilitarize the engagement line," he added.
Earlier on Monday, Basurin said DPR planned to fully complete the withdrawal of weapons of calibre less than 100mm from the line of engagement on Tuesday, July 21. He also said that on Monday the DPR had pulled back five tanks and 77 infantry combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers.
On Saturday, the self-proclaimed republics of east Ukraine announced withdrawal of tanks and armoured vehicles equipped with weapons under 100mm calibre to a distance of at least three kilometres from the line of engagement.
The DPR has already pulled back more than half of tanks and armored vehicles, while militias of the LPR have pulled back all weapons of caliber less than 100 milimeters, with the exception of Shchastye settlement.
Possible withdrawal of such weapons had been discussed at Minsk talks on a settlement in Donbas but no agreement on the matter was reached with Kiev. The two republics have decided on unilateral withdrawal in the interests of the soonest peace settlement.