Attempts to Launch Peace Process: Forces to be withdrawn from four new areas of Donbas contact line

13:32 Oct. 20, 2016

Forces to be withdrawn from four new areas of Donbas contact line

Soldiers near the village of Petrivske where Ukraine’s army and Russian-backed militabts complete the withdrawal of troops according to the agreement signed on September 21, 2016 (Getty Images)

Poroshenko says disengagement should continue, OSCE reiterates impossibility of monitoring previous withdrawal sites

Normandy Four leaders agreed to withdrawals of Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in four new areas at the frontline of the fighting in the Donbas region, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko told journalists after the meeting in Berlin.

"We've agreed that after the troops are disengaged at three previously selected areas - these are Zolote, Petrivske and Stanytsia Luhanska - monitoring posts of the OSCE should be set up there to work 24/7. After that, we'll start talks on four other areas for disengagement," Poroshenko was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Read also Leaders agree to draw up 'road map' for peace in Ukraine as Normandy Four talks end in Berlin

The Ukrainian side had also insisted that Debaltseve should be among the next four areas for disengagement, the president added.

Meanwhile, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reiterated on Thursday that they have restricted access to the withdrawal zone in Petrivske-Bohdanivka due to the absence of security guarantees.

 "Today again only limited access for OSCE SMM to Petrivske/Bohdanivka disengagement area – UAF, "DPR" have failed to guarantee SMM's security [possible mines]. SMM is ready/able to monitor, but needs access," reads the statement posted on the official Facebook page of OSCE on Thursday morning.

Read also OSCE reports restricted access in all three disengagement areas

The day before the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) headquarters once again said the withdrawal from Stanytsia Luhanska –  the third planned area – was not possible due to heavy militant fire.

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