LUGANSK, May 29 (Lugansk Media Centre) - The deployment of weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements in a disengagement zone heightened tensions in the Zolotoye area, LPR People’s Militia spokesman Andrey Marochko said at a press briefing at the Lugansk Media Centre.
“OSCE Special Monitoring Mission observers have been recording increased combat activity in the Zolotoye area for two weeks and in the disengagement area on May 24 and May 25,” Marochko said.
“The deployment and massing of banned weapons and equipment of Ukrainian armed forces in that district indeed worsened the situation there,” he noted.
“On May 25, before the international monitors’ eyes, Ukrainian terrorists were firing 120mm mortars at the LPR territory, which is incontrovertible proof of the fact that Ukraine is not going to meet its Minsk commitments,” the spokesman said.
Earlier, Marochko repeatedly stated that Ukrainian army units had been creating obstacles to the OSCE’s monitoring in the Zolotoye area with the view of hiding their equipment and that Ukraine, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, was organising new positions in disengagement area No 2 Pervomaisk-Zolotoye.
The LPR People’s Militia spotted Ukrainian army’s armoured vehicles and personnel as well as further organising of positions at disengagement area No 2, he said.
Marochko said that Kiev forces, citing minefield danger, would not let the OSCE monitors into the Zolotoye disengagement area in order to hide the equipment and personnel deployed there contrary to the Minsk Agreements.
Also, OSCE monitors recorded a violation of disengagement rules in the Zolotoye area by Kiev forces. In late March, an OSCE SMM daily report noted the presence of armed Ukrainian servicemen inside the Zolotoye disengagement area.
LPR and DPR representatives at a meeting in Minsk on September 21, 2016 initialled a framework agreement on partial pullback of forces in Donbass, that was also signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and OSCE. The document provides for three disengagement areas around Zolotoye, Stanitsa Luganskaya and Petrovskoye (DPR territory). Heads of LPR and DPR Igor Plotnitskiy and Alexander Zakharchenko signed the agreement on 22 and 23 September, respectively. The disengagement was completed in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye areas. Kiev failed to pull back its forces in Stanitsa Luganskaya area for more than 70 times.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.