23:52 GMT30 March 2020
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    Deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s administration Valeriy Chaliy stated that December 9 could mark the beginning of a peace process in eastern Ukraine.

    MOSCOW, December 5 (Sputnik) — December 9 could mark the beginning of a peace process in eastern Ukraine and after that Kiev may start pulling its heavy weapons back from the conflict area, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s administration said Friday.

    “The date of December 9 has been clearly named to be the possible date of ‘the day of silence,’ and then it will be possible to pull heavy arms and artillery back, and then we hope that the possible fulfillment of the Minsk agreements will occur,” Valeriy Chaliy said at a briefing.

    “It’s possible that this date will hold… I hope December 9 will be the start of the [peace] process,” he added.

    On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with senior military and security officials to discuss the situation in the conflict zone and to outline further steps in line with the Minsk agreements.

    Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in eastern Ukraine later confirmed an agreement with Kiev to cease all combat action in the Donbas region starting December 9.

    Following a February coup in Kiev, residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine established people's republics that later declared their independence. The Ukrainian crisis escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military offensive against the independence supporters.

    The conflicting sides agreed on a ceasefire on September 5 at a meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, and signed a memorandum specifying the ceasefire's implementation on September 19. However, both sides have subsequently accused each other of violating the truce.

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    Tags:
    peace process, Valeriy Chaliy, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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