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Luhansk republic says its heavy weaponry withdrawal almost over

According to the LPR leader, the withdrawal is 80% complete while Kiev has withdrawn only 15%-20% of its military hardware

LUHANSK, February 26. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic has withdrawn almost 80% of heavy weaponry in line with the Minsk agreements, while Kiev has failed to meet the deadline, LPR head Igor Plotnitsky said on Thursday.

"The weaponry withdrawal is 80% complete, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has confirmed this," Plotnitsky said.

Plotnitsky said Kiev troops have withdrawn only 15%-20% of military hardware. "They are not fulfilling the Minsk agreements," the Luhansk republic’s leader said.

"We have already dispatched messages to the OSCE, Kiev, Moscow, Paris and Berlin to the effect Ukraine purposefully ignores the effective agreements," he said.

"I believe that the presidents who undertook to act as safeguards of the Minsk Accords must intervene and force Ukraine to comply with the obligations it assumed," Plotnitsky said. "The more so since Ukraine has already refused to pay pensions (to the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk кepublics)," he added.

The pull-out of all heavy weapons by both sides, one of the key points of the agreements reached in the Belarusian capital on February 12, was to start no later than the second day after the February 15 ceasefire and finish within two weeks.

The joint center for control and coordination of the ceasefire earlier reported that the Donetsk and Luhansk militias had initiated the weaponry pullout on February 18.

Kiev's military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on Tuesday that Kiev would start heavy weaponry withdrawal from contact line if the "silence regime" was observed for two days.

The OSCE, which has been tasked with monitoring the process, expressed concerns on Wednesday that Kiev forces were not pulling out their heavy armaments, Russia’s envoy to the organization, Andrey Kelin, said.