Lugansk warns Kiev’s unilateral steps in disengagement area will be provocation

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LUGANSK, October 12. /TASS/. Any unilateral steps taken by Ukraine in the disengagement area will be considered as the derailment of Minsk accords, Vladislav Deinego, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), said on Saturday.

“Before a new date is fixed, we will be regarding any attempts of Ukraine’s to take unilateral steps in the disengagement area as violations of the Minsk agreements and as a provocation designed to derail the negotiation efforts concerning disengagement of forces along the line of contact,” Deinego said quoted by the Lugansk news agency.

On Friday, Mikhail Filiponenko, who heads the LPR mission to the Joint Ceasefire Control and Coordination Center (JCCC), said that the Ukrainian side had broken down the disengagement process near Zolotoye. On the same day, Ruslan Yakubov, the head of the mission of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to the JCCC, also reported that the Ukrainian side had not reacted to the prearranged signal to begin disengagement of forces.

A framework agreement on disengagement of forces in Donbass was signed by Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE and the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk in September 2016. Under the agreement, security zones are to be created at three sections of the line of contact, namely near Petrovskoye (in the Donetsk People’s Republic, or DPR), Zolotoye and Stanitsa Luganskaya (both in the Lugansk People’s Republic, or LPR). The agreement envisages withdrawal of armed forces from the line of contact to create security zones at least one kilometer wide and one kilometer deep.

The disengagement process was completed near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye in October 2016. Disengagement near Stanitsa Luganskaya was never carried out under Ukraine’s former President Pyotr Poroshenko. Moreover, Ukrainian troops returned to their former positions in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye. The sides got back to the implementation of the 2016 agreement only after the presidential elections in Ukraine when Kiev formed a new delegation to the Contact Group. In late June 2019, the parties finally disengaged forces near Stanitsa Luganskaya.

At the October 1 meeting of the Contact Group, the parties agreed to begin a new disengagement process in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye.


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