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New Ukraine ceasefire to begin Monday – Lavrov
February 19, 2017, 9:40 am

Lavrov said that the ceasefire would begin on Monday February 20 [MFA, Russia]


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has nnounced a new ceasefire set to begin in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Lavrov met with his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts on the sidelines of the 53rd Munich Security Conference on Saturday, and they agreed to pressure the pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian army to withdraw heavy weapons.

“On February 20, the ceasefire regime will start and withdrawal of heavy military hardware will also start … We have actively supported this decision and obviously expressed a conviction that this time, failure should not be allowed to take place,” Lavrov told reporters.

The ceasefire falls in line with the Minsk Protocol Agreement of 2015.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Moscow of fueling a pro-Russian uprising in the country.

Since January, heavy weaponry – prohibited by the protocols of the Minsk peace agreement – have been used to shell the Ukraine government held town of Avdeyevka (or Avdiivka).

Avdeyevka is 16 kilometeres north of rebel-held Donetsk and 50 kilometers south of Lugansk.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has blamed the ceasefire violations on Russian forces in the Donbass region, which killed soldiers and civilians.

But the leadership of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic said that Ukraine launched attacks when it realized that relations between Moscow and Washington were beginning to improve.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry blamed Ukrainian troops for launching offensives to seize territory in the suburbs of Donetsk.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that both sides must abide by the Minsk Protocol.

“The Minsk agreement is the only channel we have to bring a solution to this conflict,” Merkel told reporters in Munich late on Saturday.

“The Minsk agreement started on the assumption that there was a road map, but when it was enacted there was no continuous ceasefire.”

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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