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Kiev proposes Moscow signing schedule of Minsk agreements implementation

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday

KIEV, January 19. /TASS/. Kiev proposed Moscow signing a schedule of implementation of Minsk agreements as of November 13 and provide for the ceasefire in the southeast of Ukraine starting January 19, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“The beginning of the steadfast implementation of this document will create the necessary pre-conditions for consultations of the Contact Group, a meeting between the foreign ministers of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia and in perspective - for the summit of the leaders of these countries in Astana,” the statement said.

The statement also said that Ukraine was ready to take part in consultations of the Contact Group at any time and that Kiev was implementing all earlier reached Minsk agreements, including on ceasefire.

However, Ukrainian presidential adviser Yury Biryukov stated on Sunday that the Ukrainian military had been ordered to open heavy fire at the positions of militias in the zone of the military operation in southeastern Ukraine. Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) confirmed later that the city of Donetsk had been shelled by Ukrainian troops from all types of weapons.

The DPR’s press service reported late on Sunday that Ukraine’s armed forces shelled Donetsk, Gorlovka and positions of the DPR militias about 50 times throughout the day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Ukrainian military and militias to immediately stop shelling each other’s positions and to pull out heavy weapons from the both sides of the conflict line.

According to the data provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in late December, over 4,700 people were killed and 10,300 wounded since mid-April last year as a result of armed clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories.

A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

A memorandum was adopted on September 19 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.