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Poroshenko orders signing agreement on 30-km buffer zone in Donbas

July 22, 2015, 16:20 UTC+3
The 30-km buffer zone will include Severodonetsk, Lisichansk and Popasnaya
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© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, July 22. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed his representatives in the Contact Group on the Ukrainian crisis resolution to sign an agreement on a 30-km buffer zone in Donbas, he said on Wednesday during a visit to the Luhansk region in the country’s southeast.

"I have instructed our representatives to sign with the OSCE and Russia, which is member [of the Contact Group] an agreement that will guarantee a 30-km buffer zone in the contact zone - to withdraw tanks, artillery and rid Severodonetsk, Lisichansk, Popasnaya of cannonades," he said.

According to Poroshenko, the sides "reached these agreements" in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday. The Ukrainian president said he hoped that "the weapons withdrawal under the OSCE control will begin in several days."

"I very much hope that it’s a real ceasefire beginning, release of hostages and ensuring control over the peace observance," Poroshenko added.

On July 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s 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 armoured vehicles on positions only near the Shchastye settlement.

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

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