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Donetsk to abide by Contact Group’s agreement on New Year ceasefire — envoy

Earlier, the Contact Group reached agreement on a ceasefire in Donbass

DONETSK, December 20. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is set to comply with the Contact Group’s agreements declaring a truce in Donbass for New Year and Christmas holidays, the DPR’s envoy to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination in Ukraine (JCCC) said on Wednesday.

"We agree to abide strictly and fully by any agreements ever achieved at Minsk," Ruslan Yakubov was quoted by the Donetsk news agency. "We have been implementing them so far and now we express our full adherence to implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreements."

Earlier on Wednesday, Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the talks of the Contact Group seeking a peace solution to the conflict in east Ukraine, said that a comprehensive, durable and indefinite ceasefire in Donbass had been agreed by all sides and would come into force at midnight on Sunday, December 23, 2017.

The DPR operations command and the republic’s representatives to the JCCC say that at present the situation along the contact line is unstable. Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian troops breached the ceasefire 41 times, firing nearly 1,000 shells at the DPR.

Since the fall of 2014, participants in the Contact Group on East Ukrainian settlement have announced about a dozen of ceasefire deals. Currently, a "back-to-school" ceasefire is formally underway in Donbass. The ceasefire came into effect at midnight on August 25 in the run-up the new school year.

In the beginning, the "back-to-school" ceasefire helped to ease tensions along the contact line but eventually the shelling intensified. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Republics reported that their territories had come under shelling from positions of the Ukrainian troops. Kiev, in turn, was accusing the republics of the ceasefire violations.