Kiev, Pro-Moscow Rebels Agree to Set Buffer Zone to Bolster Ceasefire

Ukraine | September 20, 2014, Saturday // 16:16|  views

The prime minister of self-proclaimed `Donetsk People`s Republic`, Alexander Zakharchenko (L), rebel leader of the self-proclaimed `People Republic of Lugansk` Igor Plotnitsky (2-L), Russia`s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov (C), former Ukrainian Pre

Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russia rebels on Saturday agreed on a complete ceasefire and buffer zone a bid to bolster the preliminary truce signed on September 5.

According to the agreement signed in Belarus' capital Minsk after negotiations between representatives of Ukraine, Russia, pro-Moscow separatists and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 30-kilometre wide buffer zone will be set between Ukrainain government forces and the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

To do that, both sides have agreed to move their heavy weapon15 kilometres back from either side of the front lines of the conflict.

The agreement also includes a ban on the use of heavy weapons in residential areas; a ban on flights by military aircraft over the buffer zone except by the OSCE, which has been monitoring implementation of the ceasefire; and the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and military equipment from Ukrainian territory, to be monitored by the OSCE.

Kiev says Moscow has helped the separatist rebels in the mostly Russian-speaking Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in eastern Ukraine with weapons and more than 1,000 Russian troops.

Moscow denies it has any role in eastern Ukraine, saying that Russians who joined the rebels did so as private citizens.

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Tags: Ukraine, Russia, ceasefire, buffer zone, heavy weapons, rebels, separatist, OSCE, Minsk, negotiations


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