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Moscow hopes Kiev won’t disrupt disengagement of forces in eastern Ukraine

VIENNA, March 3. /TASS /. Russia hopes that the Ukrainian authorities will not disrupt the disengagement of manpower and materiel near Stanitsa Luganskaya which is scheduled for March 7, Russia’s permanent representative at the OSCE, Aleksander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

"We hope that this time Kiev won’t disrupt the disengagement of manpower and materiel near Stanitsa Luganskaya which is scheduled for March 7.

"Our appeal to disengage heavy weaponry from the line of contact as soon as possible remains in force," he said at the meeting of the Permanent Council of OSCE.

According to him, statements claiming that Ukraine has disengaged all weapons that are on the list of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) do not reflect the reality.

"The data of SMM refute this," the diplomat noted.

At the same time Russia supports the intention of the SMM to monitor the situation along the line of contact more attentively, to use additional technical equipment to fix violations of the ceasefire, situations in the areas of disengagement of forces, Lukashevich added.

On March 1 participants in the contact group on the settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine managed to agree on resuming the process of disengagement of weapons from the contact line and set the date of the next disengagement of forces near Stanitsa Luganskaya.

Donbass blockade

According to Lukashevich, Kiev withdrew from performance of its duties concerning the people of Donbass and does not want to reintegrate the region into its legal framework in compliance with agreed terms of the Minsk set of measures.

"The government has deprived a significant part of the Ukrainian citizens of possibility to enjoy a number of fundamental rights when it refused to produce necessary documents for them. The authorities of Donetsk and Lugansk were forced to compensate this by issuing its own documents," Lukashevich said.

On February 18, President Vladimir Putin signed decree ‘On recognition in the Russian Federation of the documents and license plates of vehicles issued to Ukraine’s citizens and persons without citizenship, who permanently reside in the areas of certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions." The decree in particular states that these measures come into effect temporary for the period of political settlement of the situation in specific districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine under the Minsk agreements."