MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Weaponry of less than 100mm caliber is being withdrawn from the contact line in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in accordance with the schedule, LPR’s envoy to the Contact Group Vladislav Deinego said on Monday.
"We've managed to maintain ceasefire for a rather long time. The ceasefire regime holds. This allowed us to almost complete withdrawal from our positions," Luhansk Inform Center quoted Deinego as saying.
He added that Kiev started withdrawing weaponry with delay. "They started with delay. The Ukrainian side is late now. They are trying to find some pretexts to somehow hurdle the withdrawal, in particular their own withdrawal. Nevertheless, we manage to stay within the schedule," he explained.
On October 11, Kiev said it had completed withdrawing artillery of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line in Donbas, According to the press center of the military operation, "cannons of 85mm caliber have been moved to a distance no less than 15 kilometers to certain locations under OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] control."
The second stage of weaponry withdrawal in Donbas will start on October 20, the military operation headquarters’ spokesman, Anatoly Stelmakh, said last week. "The second stage of weaponry withdrawal will start on October 20. We will also withdraw a certain number of tanks and artillery systems," he told "112 ua" TV channel. Spokesman for the military operation in the Lugansk region Ruslan Tkachuk said that after the withdrawal of tanks, "the withdrawal of anti-tank guns D-48 and D-44 of 85mm caliber and mortars of 82mm caliber will start."
In accordance with the Minsk Agreements, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) started withdrawing tanks from the contact line in Donbas on October 3. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry said that weaponry withdrawal on its territory will start after October 18 if ceasefire holds.
The supplement to the Package of measures on implementing the Minsk Agreements from 12 February 2015 was agreed upon on September 29 at the negotiations of the Contact Group in Minsk. The supplement envisages withdrawal of tanks, artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber, and mortars of equal to or less than 120mm caliber to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line in Donbas. On September 30, the document was signed by DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR head Igor Plotnitsky.
In accordance with the reached agreement, tanks are withdrawn first, followed by artillery weapons of less than 100mm caliber and mortars. The first stage should start two days after the complete ceasefire and finish in 15 days. The second stage will take 24 days to complete. The withdrawal will start in the "North" sector on the LPR territory and will continue in the "South" sector in DPR. The whole process of withdrawal is expected to take a total of 41 days.