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DPR completes withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from contact line

July 22, 2015, 14:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The defense ministry stressed that tanks and armored vehicles will remain on positions in "hot spots" to the north of Donetsk and in Debaltseve
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Repubic (DPR) has completed withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line in Donbas, DPR defense ministry said on Wednesday.

"The unilateral withdrawal of weaponry from calm areas on the front line for three kilometers has been completed in DPR," the Donetsk News Agency quoted DPR defense ministry spokesperson as saying.

The defense ministry stressed that tanks and armored vehicles will remain on positions in "hot spots" to the north of Donetsk and in Debaltseve.

On July 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR) announced their plans to unilaterally withdraw heavy weaponry from the contact line. LPR also completed the withdrawal of weaponry from the contact line, leaving tanks and armored vehicles on positions only near the Schastye settlement.

On Tuesday, the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement reached an agreement on gradual withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber by both sides.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

Weaponry withdrawal is envisaged by the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The talks lasted for around 14 hours. Simultaneously, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement was held in Minsk.

The Minsk accords also envisage ceasefire, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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