Ukraine Ceasefire Deal Finally Reached
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the ceasefire in Ukraine was set to begin at midnight on February 15. The deal was announced after 17-hour negotiations among representatives of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus.
''We have managed to agree on the main issues," he said, Reuters reported. He added that the agreement involves humanitarian issues and implementation of a law on the special statute of Luhansk and Donetsk. However, Kiev is said to still refuse to negotiate with rebel groups.
The 14-point deal envisages a withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and the release of all prisoners, according to the BBC News.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky have not signed the agreement, according to a source of TASS information agency.
However, France’s President Francois Hollande told journalists that the pro-Russian separatists had signed the peace deal, according to Deutsche Welle.
In order for the document to take effect, it needs to be further signed by members of the Contact Group - representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and needs to get the approval of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).
The 10-month conflict in Ukraine has caused the deaths of allegedly 5,300 people. Many analysts, however, believe the number to be much higher.
The first attempt for a peace settlement happened in September 2014 in Minsk, when a ceasefire agreement was signed, but never fully executed. It involved withdrawal of military forces, arms and officers from the country, as well as the immediate release of all captured people on both sides.
More updates to follow.
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