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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

    Moscow Says Kiev Violated Minsk Agreements by Failing to Withdraw Weaponry

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    The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that Kiev seriously violated the Minsk agreements by keeping the heavy weaponry on the contact line at Ukraine’s southeast.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kiev has once again seriously violated the Minsk agreements as the claims by Ukrainian authorities that all the heavy weapons have been withdrawn from the contact line in Donbass are proving to be incorrect, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

    "Reuters agency journalists shot a video showing heavy weaponry of Ukrainian army by the line of contact at Ukraine's southeast," the ministry said in a statement.

    The ministry added that according to the Reuters video, the Azov battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine employed howitzers banned by the Minsk agreements in Schyrokyne, a village in Donetsk Region, that should have been among the areas monitored most closely by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry has to emphasize that we are speaking of another serious violation of Minsk agreements that stipulate the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line… The claims of Ukrainian authorities that all of its heavy weapons have been withdrawn are once again proving to be bluff," the ministry added.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated Moscow's call on Kiev authorities to stick to fulfilling the Minsk Agreements and stop misleading the international community.

    The withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line between the Kiev forces and the independence supporters of Donbas was one of the key points of the agreement signed between Kiev forces and independence supporters in February in Minsk.

    Along with the pullout, the deal included establishing a ceasefire, conducting an all-for-all prisoner exchange and introducing amendments to Ukrainian constitution.

    On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that Kiev has withdrawn its heavy artillery from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.

    The Donbas militias said they completed the pullout of their heavy armament on March 1.

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

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    Tags:
    Donbass, Minsk agreements, Ukrainian crisis, Azov Battalion, Russian Foreign Ministry, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine
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