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DPR and LPR representatives in Contact group insist on need for heavy equipment withdrawal from contact line

On March 1, Minsk hosted a regular meeting of the Contact group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass. The agenda included issues related to the violation of the ceasefire, the situation around the Donetsk filtration plant and exchange of prisoners.

According to a source from Minsk in the peace negotiations, negotiators from the DPR and the LPR continue to insist on the exchange of all identified persons detained by the Ukrainian side at all identified persons on the territory of both Republics.

“This position was expressed today by representatives of the Republics. But keep in mind that, despite preparation of the exchange, development and adoption of an amnesty law remains the key question. Only this regulation, provided by the Package of measures, will allow stopping the persecution and arrests for political reasons. Apart from the issue prisoners exchange, considerable attention was paid by the negotiating to the humanitarian programme, proposed earlier by the Heads of the DPR and the LPR,” the source said.

Also, the source added that the negotiators managed to reach a number of agreements in matters of disengagement of forces and means in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya locality and resolve the situation with the Donetsk filtration plant.

“Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics expressed hope that the agreements reached will be fulfilled shortly. In addition, the DPR envoy Denis Pushilin insisted on the need for withdrawal from the demarcation line of heavy equipment. It is the presence of heavy weapons has led to escalation of the conflict, and thus return of weapons to storage places will help reduce the degree of tension on the front line, save the lives of our citizens and our settlements from merciless shellings of the Ukrainian army,” the source concluded.

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