Heavy Weaponry Withdrawal in Donbas Has 'Good Prospects' - OSCE Official

© REUTERS / Alexei ChernyshevUkrainian servicemen load Grad rockets outside Debaltsevo, eastern Ukraine February 8, 2015
Ukrainian servicemen load Grad rockets outside Debaltsevo, eastern Ukraine February 8, 2015 - Sputnik International
Kiev forces and independence supporters generally observe ceasefire in Donbas, which is a crucial measure stipulated by the new Minsk agreements, an OSCE senior official said.

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces gather inside a school building in Debaltseve - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) monitoring mission to Ukraine evaluates the prospects of the implementation of the new Minsk agreements regarding the withdrawal of heavy weaponry in Donbas as "good", Alexander Hug, the mission's deputy chief monitor told SNA Radio.

"There are good prospects for the implementation of the Minsk agreements," Hug said adding that OSCE monitors have already held talks with the representatives of forces in the format of the Joint Control Coordination Center.

"The plans on withdrawal of heavy equipment are being elaborated," Hug added.

Tank crews of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Army stand on top of their tanks at a checkpoint on the road from the town of Vuhlehirsk to Debaltseve - Sputnik International
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According to Hug, the ceasefire in Donbas, which is also among the measures stipulated by the new Minsk agreements, is being generally observed along the whole line of contact between the Kiev forces and independence supporters of Donbas. However, in several strategic locations, such as Donetsk and Debaltesve, the truce is holding "only partially."

"By definition, a ceasefire cannot begin immediately, and especially in a vast area such as Ukraine's east," Hug noted.

Last week, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine negotiated a number of steps to facilitate the reconciliation process in southeastern Ukraine. The set of measures agreed in Minsk include a ceasefire from February 15, the withdrawal of heavy artillery from the line of contact and an all-for-all prisoner exchange.

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