Poroshenko orders signing of deal on 30km buffer zone in Donbass, withdrawing tanks, artillery

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group to sign an agreement on a buffer zone along the line of contact in Donbass.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group to sign an agreement on a buffer zone along the line of contact in Donbass.

"I have instructed the Ukrainian representatives in the Trilateral Contact Group to immediately sign an agreement with the OSCE and the Russian side, which is a party to the Trilateral Contact Group, to guarantee the establishment of a 30-kilometer buffer zone along the line of contact and to withdraw artillery that is still left there, withdraw tanks, and withdraw mortars, making the constant shelling impossible," Poroshenko said when introducing the new head of the Lugansk regional administration in Severodonetsk on July 22.

Poroshenko called for doing anything possible so that no shots are fired in Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Lysychansk, or Popasna. "Ukraine's proposal was accepted yesterday in Minsk at our diplomats' and the OSCE's insistence," starting "the countdown for withdrawing all heavy weapons under the OSCE's control," he said.

The president said he hoped that this would be "the real start of the real withdrawal" of heavy hardware, providing preconditions for this territory's political and economic reintegration with Ukraine.

It was reported earlier that the Trilateral Contact Group on settling the situation in Donbass met in Minsk on July 21. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ivica Dacic, who took part in the meeting, said the participants had agreed upon the text of a document on withdrawing weapons smaller than 100mm in caliber.

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