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Contact Group’s sub-group on security finishes meeting in Minsk

August 27, 2015, 4:42 UTC+3 MINSK
On Wednesday, three other sub-groups - on political, economic and humanitarian issues - also held meetings in the Belarusian capital
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MINSK, August 27. /TASS/. The meeting of the Contact Group’s sub-group on security has finished in Minsk but the work will continue in the afternoon, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry wrote on its Twitter microblog on Thursday.

"The working sub-group on security will continue negotiations in Minsk on August 27," the foreign ministry wrote.

On Wednesday, three other sub-groups - on political, economic and humanitarian issues - also held meetings in the Belarusian capital.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said it hoped that an agreement on withdrawing weaponry of less than 100mm caliber will finally be signed at today’s meeting of the sub-group on security.

Weaponry withdrawal

On July 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR) announced their plans to unilaterally withdraw heavy weaponry from the contact line. Weaponry withdrawal is envisaged by the Minsk agreements on the settlement in Ukraine signed on February 12 by Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in the Belarusian capital.

DPR announced at the end of July that it completed the withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line, leaving tanks only in "hot spots" to the north of Donetsk and in Debaltsevo. LPR also completed the withdrawal of weaponry from the contact line, leaving tanks and armored vehicles only on positions near the Schastye settlement.

On July 21, the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement reached an agreement on gradual withdrawal of weaponry of less than 100mm caliber by both sides. However, the final document has not been signed yet.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

Weaponry withdrawal is envisaged by the Minsk agreements on the settlements of the situation in 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 Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords also envisage ceasefire, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbass, 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 Lugansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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