Donbas conflict: Contact Group sets new dates for withdrawal of troops

09:53 Oct. 6, 2016

Contact Group sets new dates for withdrawal of troops

Ukrainian tanks move near Mariupol, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo)

Ukraine earlier accused Russian-backed militants of thwarting the pullback at Petrovske area

The implementation of the Framework Decision on the withdrawal of troops in Donbas will be continued on October 7 and October 9 in the areas of Petrivske and Stanytsia Luhanska respectively, according to Darka Olifer, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian representative to the contact group Leonid Kuchma.

Read also: Withdrawal of troops thwarted by militants - Ukraine

'The key issue on today's agenda of the Trilateral contact group is ceasefire violations. Representatives of the certain (militant-held - UT) areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions continue shellings, including the areas where the disengagement of forces and hardware has to start - Stanytsia Luhanska and Petrivske. In particular, on September 30 and October 3 2016, Petrivske came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades; in the period from September 22 to October 4 2016, Stanytsia Luhanska was fired on 18 times. It should be noted that attacks are carried out at night, when the situation is not controlled by the OSCE SMM,' said Olifer.

'That is why the implementation of the framework decision will continue: on October 7, the withdrawal will take place in Petrivske and on October 9 - in Stanytsia Luhanska. I emphasize: the withdrawal will take place only in the absence of attacks, given the simultaneous pullback by the other side, and under the supervision of the OSCE SMM,' the spokesperson said.

Read also: Donbas militants refuse to pull back their troops from the contact line

In turn, Viktoria Talakina, press secretary of a militants' representative to the contact group Denis Pushilin confirmed that the Russian-backed separatist forces were ready for a second attempt to implement the withdrawal: 'As a result of a lengthy and heated discussion, the parties came to an understanding on disengagement of forces and hardware in the settlement of Petrovske on Friday at 11:00 on Friday, October 7, given the absence of violations."

The Tripartite Contact Group on September 21 has signed the Framework Decision on disengagement of forces and hardware along the contact line.

Reporting by UNIAN

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