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Weapons withdrawal mechanism becomes stumbling block at Minsk talks -- OSCE

Kiev and the militias have failed to reach an agreement on the mechanism of withdrawal of weapons with caliber under 100 mm during the Contact Group consultations in Minsk, says a daily report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine whose head took part in the talks. The document says that the parties failed to agree on the draft plan for the withdrawal of tanks and artillery systems with caliber under 100 mm and trench mortars with caliber under 120 mm. It notes that after 24 hours of talks, the parties have not reached an agreement on the mechanism for the withdrawal of weapons in accordance with the schedule.

Envoys of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR, LPR) earlier said that Kiev had sabotaged the initialing of the document on the withdrawal of weapons with caliber under 100 mm from the contact line in the Donbas region. "Yesterday, closer to midnight, after a telephone call to Kiev, new unacceptable amendments were received to the text of the document that had been fully agreed. We favor the immediate withdrawal of the military equipment with caliber under 100 mm along the entire line of contact. However, Ukraine apparently wants the hostilities to be continued and disrupts the withdrawal of the military equipment," said DPR and LPR envoys to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deynego.

[Source: Itar Tass, Vienna, 05Aug15]

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