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MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The Ukrainian side has once again failed to fulfill its liabilities and withdraw its forces and weapons from the contact line near Stanitsa Luganskaya, Russia’s chief negotiator at the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, said on Friday.
"Once again, Kiev has failed to implement its liabilities concerning the withdrawal of forces and weapons near Stanitsa Luganskaya, despite the fact that the parties have been observing the key criterion - the ceasefire at the corresponding section of the contact line for seven days," he said.
According to Gryzlov, this fact has been confirmed by the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
He said the OSCE monitors reported the last ceasefire violation on March 31, hence, withdrawal of forces could have been carried out on April 6 or 7, but Kiev decides by itself when the ceasefire was reached. "It will be very difficult to reach any results with such attitude to one’s liabilities. Yet another failure demonstrates who is really responsible for the lack of progress in the sphere of security in Donbass," he stressed.
On September 21, 2016, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine reached a framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass. The Contact Group agreed on the principles and a timeframe for disengaging forces of Kiev and militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Under the agreement, security zones are to be created at three sections of the line of contact, namely near Petrovskoye (DPR), Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya (both in the LPR). The agreement envisages withdrawal of armed forces from the line of contact to create security zones at least two kilometers wide and two kilometers deep.
The disengagement process has successfully been concluded near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. By today, Stanitsa Luganskaya is the only site where disengagement has not taken place.
The latest Contact Group meeting on March 29 yielded yet another agreement on weapons withdrawal from the contact line on April 6. However the Ukraine side on Thursday refused to withdraw its forces saying that disengagement can be carried out only on conditions of complete ceasefire for seven day, which fact is to be verified by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.