LUGANSK, February 1 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Kiev’s statements alleging readiness to pull back its forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya area cannot be confirmed, LPR People’s Militia spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko told a news briefing at Lugansk Media Centre.
Contact Group coordinator for OSCE Martin Sajdik said after the latest meeting in Minsk that Ukraine had stated a possibility to withdraw forces and hardware in Stanitsa Luganskaya on 1 or 2 February.
“Ironically, we already heard it, as early as 18 January,” Marochko said. “Seriously, every meeting in Minsk ends in accords to disengage forces and hardware in Area No 1 (Stanitsa Luganskaya), and then we wait for official confirmation from Kiev until the next round of talks,” he said.
“For our part, we repeatedly confirmed that we were ready for mutual disengagement as was recorded by international observers,” he added.
LPR and DPR representatives at a meeting in Minsk on 21 September 2016 initialled a framework agreement on partial pullback of forces in Donbass, that was also signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and OSCE.
The document provides for three disengagement areas around Zolotoye, Stanitsa Luganskaya and Petrovskoye (DPR territory). Heads of LPR and DPR Igor Plotnitskiy and Alexander Zakharchenko signed the agreement on 22 and 23 September, respectively.
The disengagement was completed in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye areas. Kiev failed to pull back its forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya area for more than 70 times under the pretext of alleged shelling by LPR. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine confirmed more than ten times that the parties had observed the 7-day ceasefire in the area as preliminary condition before proceeding with disengagement.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on 12 February 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.