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    Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC), as they return from the frontline in eastern Ukraine, in Kiev March 11, 2015

    Kiev Yet to Complete Withdrawal of Heavy Weapons From Contact Line

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    Head of the breakaway Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky said that Ukraine did not complete the removal of equipment from the contact line.

    LUHANSK (Sputnik) — Kiev has not completed the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line in southeast Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreement, head of the breakaway Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky told reporters Saturday.

    "They still have not completed the removal of equipment," Plotnitsky said.

    Plotnitsky added that LPR officials are notifying Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers that the Ukrainian forces' large caliber weapons are yet to be removed from the frontline.

    "We see the removal of primarily unusable equipment in need of repair," the head of the self-proclaimed republic said, adding that Kiev's battle-ready weapons remain hidden.

    Another alarming development, according to Plotnitsky, is Friday's announcement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that 11 EU countries have signed arms deliveries contracts with Kiev.

    Additionally, the US administration decided earlier in the week to provide $75 million in non-lethal military aid to Ukraine. The assistance package is said to include 30 armored Humvees, up to 200 unarmored Humvees, counter-mortar radars, unarmed drones, radios and medical equipment.

    The agreement to withdraw heavy weapons was outlined in a 13-point set of measures to alleviate the conflict in southeast Ukraine.

    The deal, hammered out in the Belarusian capital Minsk by French, German, Russian and Ukrainian leaders on February 12, also includes a ceasefire agreement, the exchange of prisoners, as well as granting the two breakaway regions special status ahead of nationwide constitutional reform.

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


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