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Militia say Kiev refuses to withdraw forces from contact line near Stanitsa Luganskaya

A framework agreement on disengagement of the sides was signed by militia leaders and representatives of OSCE, Russia and Ukraine on September 21-23

LUGANSK, October 3. /TASS/. A spokesman for the people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has accused Kiev of refusing to withdraw its forces from the line of engagement near the settlement of Stanitsa Luganskaya.

"The Ukrainian side refused to withdraw its forces and weapons from the contact line near Stanitsa Luganskaya providing no reasons for the refusal," LuganskInformCenter quoted him as saying.

"Thus, the Ukrainian side has broken down disengagement of forces scheduled for October 3," the spokesman stressed.

On September 21, the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine reached a framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass. It took three months to agree this document. Stage one is to create security zones at three sections of the line of contact, namely near Zolotoye, Petrovskoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya.

The agreement envisages withdrawal of armed forces from the line of contact to create security zones at least two kilometers wide and two kilometers deep. The entire disengagement process, including preparatory measures, is to take not more than 30 days for each of the sections. The document is also applicable to other sections that might be agreed by the parties in further consultations.

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.