07:02 GMT02 December 2020
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    Conflicting parties in Donbass reached an agreement on withdrawing the banned weapons from the contact line by February 20, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to the Trilateral Contact Group Martin Sajdik said on Wednesday.

    MINSK (Sputnik) – He pointed out that the intensity of shelling in Donbass significantly decreased within the last two weeks, which improved the situation for civilians.

    Sajdik added that the next session of the Contact Group would be held in Minsk on March 1.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Tags:
    Ukrainian crisis, OSCE, Ukraine, Donbass
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