Latest from Minsk talks on Ukraine: Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk agrees on withdrawal of forces from Donbas frontlines

16:21 Sep. 21, 2016

Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk agrees on withdrawal of forces from Donbas frontlines

Ukrainian army forces continuing their operation against separatists in the east of the country (Getty Images)

Framework agreement provides for the withdrawal of forces at three key sectors in eastern Ukraine

The Trilateral Contact Group working on settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine has reached a framework agreement on withdrawing troops and heavy weapons from a demarcation line in Donbas.

This was reported by Darka Olifer, the spokesperson of Ukraine's envoy to the Minsk talks Leonid Kuchma.

"The document implies de-escalation around the contact line and actually creates the conditions under which small arms cannot be used for attacks. At the same time, the framework decision provides for full implementation of the previous agreements of the Trilateral Contact Group on withdrawal of all weapons of the caliber less than 100 mm," Olifer wrote on her Facebook page.

Read also Ukraine reports de-escalation in Donbas: 13 attacks in last day

According to the framework agreement, OSCE SMM "conducts permanent monitoring and verification of the withdrawal process at the agreed sectors."

Kuchma's press secretary underlined that the pullout was negotiated at three sites only.

The Ukrainian side believes that the implementation of the aforementioned agreement is the first step to the full withdrawal of forces along the whole contact line.

The framework agreement was signed by Ukraine's representative Leonid Kuchma, OSCE special representative Martin Sajdik, and Russia's Boris Gryzlov.

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