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Contact Group fails to agree on weapons withdrawal in Donbass - OSCE envoy

September 22, 2015, 22:34 updated at: September 22, 2015, 23:11 UTC+3 MINSK
Martin Sajdik said the discussion of the withdrawal schedule had taken seven hours
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Ambassador Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

Ambassador Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

© Yevgeny Leonov/TASS

MINSK, September 22. /TASS/. The Contact Group of the settlement in eastern Ukraine has failed to reach an agreement on the pullback of weapons of under 100mm caliber from the line of engagement in Donbass, OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Special Representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik, said on Tuesday after the Minsk talks.

He said he discussion of the withdrawal schedule had taken seven hours. The sides agreed confidentiality was needed to ensure sustainable character of the talks, he said, adding the consultations would be continued next week.

Earlier on Tuesday, LuganskInformCentre cited a source close to the talks that the security subgroup planned to meet in Minsk on September 28 to try to finalize a document on weapons withdrawal to have it initialed at a Contact Group meeting on September 29.

The political subgroup of the Contact Group on settlement in eastern Ukraine focused on the discussion of a new possible date for elections in Donbass, February 16, 2016, Martin Sajdik said.

He said the discussion had mainly centered round February 21, 2016 as a new date for local elections in Donbass. However, elections in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk would be held on October 18 and November 1, he said, adding that it ran counter to the Minsk agreements.

Earlier on Tuesday, representatives of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republic (LPR and DPR) handed over to the Contact Group a roadmap of the implementation of political provisions of the Minsk agreements.

"The implementation of the roadmap is to be completed by local elections in the republics (LPR and DPR, or Donetsk People’s Republic) on February 21, 2016. These will be elections to local legislatures and head of rural administrations," LuganskInformCentre said citing a source close to the talks.

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