Kiev reinforces military presence in Donbass — Russia’s envoy

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Russia's envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov

Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov


© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MINSK, February 13. /TASS/. Ukraine builds up its military presence in Donbass, thus violating agreements on disengagement, Russia’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Minsk peace talks Boris Gryzlov said on Wednesday after the  regular meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group seeking peace in south-eastern Ukraine.

“The Contact Group discussed the continuing ceasefire violations by Ukrainian forces. It was noted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are reinforcing military positions in the southern area along the contact line, namely near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. I reckon that a year and a half ago the military personnel and weapons were disengaged in those areas, but afterwards the Ukrainian Armed Forces have violated the agreement,” Gryzlov said.

The Russian envoy pointed out that the pro-Kiev forces have intensified shelling in Donbass after the rotation of troops. “It was also pointed out that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have intensified shelling after the rotation of troops in the military units. It shows that the arriving Ukrainian troops are not ordered to observe the ceasefire, but on the contrary, they are trying to provoke retaliation,” he stressed. “The participants in the meeting demanded that Kiev strengthen responsibility along the contact line,” Gryzlov said.

A framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed by Ukraine, Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in September 2016.

Under the agreement, security zones are to be set up at three sections along the contact line, namely near Petrovskoye (DPR), Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya (both in the LPR). The agreement envisages the withdrawal of the forces from the contact line to set up security zones at least two kilometers wide and two kilometers deep.

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