Ukraine has disrupted the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement agreed by members of the Contact Group on the settlement in the Donbass region, Russian envoy to the Minsk talks, Boris Gryzlov, said on Tuesday.
“We have to state that the withdrawal of heavy weapons agreed by the Contact Group has been disrupted by Kiev,” he noted. “The current Ukrainian authorities do not seek to solve the problems that have piled up in the region.”
The Russian envoy recalled that an agreement on withdrawing heavy weapons in accordance with the Minsk agreements was reached at the last meeting of the group on February 15.
According to Gryzlov, “at the moment, heavy weapons are still deployed inside the security zone along the entire line of disengagement.” “That creates a threat of further escalation of the armed conflict putting at risk lives and health of civilians living in these districts,” he emphasized.
“It is noteworthy that after the withdrawal of weapons scheduled for February 20 did not take place, LPR representatives proposed to hold a video conference to urgently tackle this issue. However, their inquiry was actually ignored by the authorities in Kiev. Much to our regret, OSCE representatives were unable to insist on holding such a video conference either,” Gryzlov said.
The operational command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said earlier in the day weapons withdrawal had been disrupted, adding that the process has been postponed at least until February 22.