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Sides in Ukraine conflict need to show restraint before ceasefire — Russian diplomat

It is necessary to create such conditions that eliminate the possibility of more shellings, causing casualties and forcing civilians to leave, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE Andrey Kelin says

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The growing number of civilian casualties should be prevented before the ceasefire comes into force in Ukraine, Russia’s Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin said on Friday.

Russia hopes that the sides of the conflict will demonstrate restraint before the peace agreements are implemented, Kelin stressed. "We think that the sides succeeded in agreeing on many issues — on ceasing fire from 12am on February 15 and withdrawing heavy weapons," he added.

"Some issues are outlined in more detail. They deal with long-term political settlement, solving border control problems in accordance with Donbas self-defense forces, humanitarian and economic issues, as well as prisoner exchange," Kelin said. "It is important to develop a package of measures, verifications, for monitoring and implementing the reached agreements by both sides," he added.

"It is necessary to work actively in the framework of the Contact Group, which will lead to reaching practical results," Kelin continued. "We will actively facilitate [this process]. OSCE special monitoring mission will carry out tasks on implementing these agreements, in the first place, on monitoring the ceasefire and weapons withdrawal," he said.

"We hope that all sides will demonstrate restraint in the nearest future before the complete ceasefire comes into force," Kelin added. "We cannot allow the number of casualties and displaced persons to grow. It is necessary to create such conditions that eliminate the possibility of more shellings," the ambassador concluded.