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    Separation of Forces in Ukraine's Donbas Reaches Deadlock - Russian OSCE Envoy

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    The separation of armed forces in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine within the framework of the ceasefire agreement has been deadlocked due to Kiev's reluctance to fulfill its commitments, Russia's Permanent Representative at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — "We have to state that the most important process of separation of forces has come to a deadlock," Lukashevich said at OSCE's Permanent Council meeting, commenting on the Ukrainian crisis.

    He explained that Kiev refused to fulfill its commitment to withdraw troops from an area of the planned disengagement of forces in the settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska.

    "Provided this agreement is implemented, the parties could start negotiating new disengagement areas on the line of contact. We consider separation of forces on the line of contact a crucial condition to actually provide a steady ceasefire," Lukashevich added.

    A military conflict in Ukraine has been going on since 2014, after the residents of Donbas refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that had come to power in what they perceived to be a coup. In February 2015, the parties in the Ukrainian conflict signed the Minsk peace accords in an effort to end the fighting in the crisis-torn region of the country. Nevertheless, sporadic armed conflicts keep reoccurring in the region.

    On June 21, a trilateral contact group, composed of Russian, Ukrainian and OSCE mediators, agreed to impose a ceasefire in Ukraine's eastern regions during the summer harvest, which would last from June 24 to August 31. However, the ceasefire failed to hold with both sides of the conflict continuing to blame each other of violations.

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    deadlock, OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, Donbass, Ukraine
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