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Complete demining in Donbass might take up to 20 years - Ukraine’s military

March 03, 2016, 6:48 UTC+3 KIEV

A spokesman for the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces called to ensure "observance of the ceasefire regime and to take efforts to demine"

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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, archive

KIEV, March 3. /TASS/. It will take up to 20 years to clear all Donbass territories from mines, Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesman for the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, said on Thursday.

"I am speaking not about only 12 sections along the line of engagement but about all crossing points at the engagement line because there is a serious problem as of today," he said in an interview with the 112 Ukraina television channel.

"According to a survey conducted by the Geneva demining center, each year of warfare in any conflict entails ten years of demining works. So, if the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been continuing for about two years, it means that demining works will take 20 years."

He  in order to ensure security of civilians."

On Wednesday, the Contact Group, seeking to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, reached concrete agreements for the first time in recent months. The accords are aimed at ensuring progress in security issues.

Representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia and Ukraine initialed two agreements - banning firing drills and creating 12 demining zones.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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