23:23 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, and US Vice President Joe Biden prior their statement to the media at the Presidential Administration Building in Kiev. File photo

    US Welcomes Kiev’s Proposal to Create Tank Free Zone in Donbass

    © AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
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    The US has commended the proposal by Ukraine’s President to establish a demilitarized zone at the contact line in conflict-torn Donbass region, White House said in a release after a phone conversation between US Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — During the conversation, Biden and Poroshenko also discussed US security assistance for Ukraine, new Kiev’s reforms, and the “urgency of seeking justice in the Malaysia Airlines MH-17 tragedy.”

    “The Vice President [Biden] welcomed President Poroshenko's proposal to create a 30-kilometer zone free of tanks, artillery and mortar systems along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, to be monitored by the OSCE [the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe],” the release read on Friday.

    On Tuesday, the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation, comprising representatives of Kiev, the self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Russia and the OSCE, reached an agreement on the withdrawal of weaponry from the contact line in eastern Ukraine.

    Two days later, Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – leaders of the so-called Normandy Quartet – discussed in a phone call the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements.

    In April 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against eastern Ukraine’s militias. At the beginning of 2015, the fighting intensified.

    In mid-February, Kiev and the breakaway republics signed a ceasefire agreement after Normandy Quartet talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. However, both sides have since repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal.

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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)

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    OSCE, Petro Poroshenko, Joe Biden, United States, Ukraine, Donbass
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