04:35 GMT06 May 2021
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    Russia's envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said that OSCE worries about pause of Kiev-led forces in pulling out heavy weaponry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is concerned by Kiev's delay in withdrawing heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as prescribed by the recent Minsk peace deal, Russia's envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said Wednesday.

    "The Kiev-led forces are not pulling out heavy weaponry and insist on some kind of a pause," Kelin said in an interview with Rossya-1 television.

    "That prompts a certain concern in the OSCE as such a pause could last indefinitely. It will certainly hamper the implementation of the first point of the Minsk agreements," Kelin said.

    The warring sides in the Ukrainian conflict were both given two weeks to pull their heavy weaponry out of striking distance under the new ceasefire deal, which was agreed upon on February 12. The ceasefire came into force on February 15, and the withdrawal was to begin the next day.

    However, Kiev military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said on Tuesday that government troops would only start heavy weaponry pullout if the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine remained stable for at least 48 hours.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), which itself began withdrawing heavy arms from the frontline on Tuesday, reiterated its call for the OSCE to monitor the pullout. DPR Deputy Commander Eduard Basurin promised to provide the organization with safety guarantees.

    On Tuesday, Donbas militia pulled back five artillery battalions and an artillery battery. On Wednesday, the DPR plans to withdraw another 180 units of artillery and 18 multiple-launch rocket systems.

    Topic:
    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

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    Tags:
    Donbass, weaponry withdrawal, Minsk agreements, Ukrainian crisis, OSCE, Andrei Kelin, Ukraine, Russia
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