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Kiev refrains from signing document on weapons withdrawal — LPR head

August 10, 2015, 16:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Ukraine is simply not ready or cannot follow suit, that’s it," Igor Plotnitsky says
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Kiev is not ready now to agree on a document regarding withdrawal of weapons of under 100mm caliber from the front line in Donbas, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky told a news conference at the LuganskInformCentre on Monday.

"We have drafted the papers for three times already, and, as you know, both we and the Donetsk republic have withdrawn unilaterally [the weapons]," he said.

"Ukraine is simply not ready or cannot follow suit, that’s it," he said.

A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release. The package of measures envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometers wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometers wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and the tactical rocket systems Tochka-U. The final document says that the Ukrainian troops are to be pulled back away from the current line of engagement and the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, from the engagement line set by the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.

On August 3, Minsk hosted meetings of the Contact Group and its sub-groups. The work continued to late night, but the parties could not reach a most expected solution - to initial the text of an agreement on a gradual withdrawal of tanks, armored vehicles and weapons of calibre under 100mm from the front line. Thus, the sub-group on security, which is supervising the topic, continued the meeting all the following day, though with no result.

LPR’s envoy to the peace talks Vladislav Deinego said at the coming meeting of the Contact Group due on August 26, the sub-group will present two versions of the document on withdrawal of the weapons. One version will outline the disputable provisions on the version agreed by the Contact Group. And the second variant will fix Ukraine’s position "as it refuses the agreed variant.".

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