DONETSK, November 9. /TASS/. Ukraine’s implementation of practical efforts to fulfill the agreements of the Contract Group in the pilot area of disengagement of forces and facilities in Petrovskoye will contribute to de-escalation of the Donbass conflict, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s Foreign Minister, a delegate from the republic to the Minsk talks Natalya Nikonorova said on Saturday.
"We welcome the fact that the Ukrainian side has finally managed to start implementation of practical efforts on fulfillment of the agreements reached in Minsk. If Kiev manages to fully eliminate breaches that will help deescalate the conflict," she said.
Ukraine and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) started simultaneous disengagement of forces along the line of contact in the Petrovskoye area earlier on Saturday. Once the disengagement is completed, the sides should notify the OSCE, whose observers will put that on record. Later a set of actions will be started in the region on de-mining and fortification dismantling.
Completion of disengagement in Petrovskoye finalizes the process of disengagement of forces and facilities in three pilot security zones on the contact line, namely near Petrovskoye (in the Donetsk People’s Republic, or DPR), Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya (both in the Lugansk People’s Republic, or LPR). A framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed by Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in September 2016.
Disengagement of forces along the line of contact in Donbass is a condition for holding the Normandy Four summit between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France where further steps to resolve the conflict in the region are planned to be discussed.