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Friday, December 23, 2016

Ukraine: New Agreement on Donbass Ceasefire Welcomed

Source: TASS

Poroshenko welcomes new agreement on Donbass ceasefire

December 23, 20:59 UTC+3

On Wednesday, members of the Contact Group reached an agreement on "a comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire" as of midnight on December 24

KIEV, December 23. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has welcomed agreements on a ceasefire in Donbass, coordinated between participants in the Contact Group for Ukrainian settlement that are to come into effect as of 00:00 (01:00 Moscow time) on December 24, the press service of the Ukrainian president reported on Friday.

"I expect that owing to these measures that will be implemented ahead of the New Year and Christmas holidays, the ceasefire in Donbass will have a permanent nature," the report said. "Ukraine confirms its readiness to comply with this, as well as with other Minsk agreements," it added.

On Wednesday, December 21, members of the Contact Group reached an agreement on "a comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire" as of midnight on December 24 local time in connection with the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.

This attempt to impose a ceasefire "indefinitely" will become the tenth since the conflict in Ukraine started.

Previously, on August 26, the parties to the Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine made a yet another, ninth, attempt to attain ceasefire. The agreement they reached suggested the ceasefire takes effect as of September 1. However the security situation in Donbass has not visibly improved, with the parties continuing to exchange accusations of ceasefire violations.

The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015, envisaged a ceasefire regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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