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Ukrainian defense ministry says all tanks withdrawn from contact line in Donbas

September 14, 2015, 19:45 UTC+3 KIEV
However, military vehicles will fast take fighting positions again and resist the enemy in case of provocation, right after receiving a command from the leadership, defense ministry says
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© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, September 14. /TASS/. All Ukrainian tanks have been withdrawn from the contact line in accordance with the Minsk agreements, Ukrainian defense ministry said on Monday.

"All military vehicles have been withdrawn from the contact line to a distance outlined in the Minsk agreements," the defense ministry said.

At the same time, the ministry noted that "they will fast take fighting positions and resist the enemy in case of provocation, right after receiving a command from the leadership."

At the meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk on August 26, the participants confirmed their plans to ensure ceasefire in Donbas from September 1. OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Special Representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik said that it is necessary for ensuring security at schools along the contact line. Over the last days, only few violations of ceasefire regime were registered in Donbass, with the most serious case registered overnight to September 5, when one civilian was killed and two others injured.

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 Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election 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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