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Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council: Minsk process will be continued in 2016

The Minsk process will be continued next year, Alexander Turchynov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) said today, on December 29.

“It is to be hoped that it will be more efficient and fruitful than it was in the current year,” he said. “Minsk is now the permanent area for the meetings of the Ukraine-Russia-OSCE Contact Group with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics,” Turchynov said.  At the same time, he again blamed Russia for breaking the arrangements, “as it failed to pull back its troops and did not transfer the control over the Ukrainian-Russian border.”

A regular ceasefire came into effect in Donbass on September 1. In late September, an agreement was signed on withdrawal of weapons of up to 100mm caliber and tanks from the engagement line.  Despite this, the Kiev authorities and Ukraine’s Armed Forces continue military build-up along the dividing line shelling the territories of the self-proclaimed republics on a daily basis.

EADaily reported earlier that last week alone, Kiev pulled 182 pieces of military hardware and 420 security officers to the engagement line in Donbass, violating the ceasefire 50 times. They used 120mm and 82mm mortars (443 shells), tanks and anti-tank grenade launchers (over 40 shells).  Two civilians and one soldier of the Donetsk People’s Republic were killed, another four were founded.

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