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 Second stage of weapons withdrawal started – General Staff

The ATO forces together with the OSCE observers launched the second stage of weapons withdrawal on Saturday, Oct. 10. It concerns the withdrawal of artillery of less than 100mm caliber.

Speaker of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Vladyslav Selezniov announced, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

"Today the guns will be withdrawn at a distance defined by the Minsk Agreements," Selezniov said. He also noted that this withdrawal phase will last for two days.

Read more: OSCE: Militants fail to withdraw heavy weapons near Mariupol

"Later, we will make a statement, claiming that the weapons have been withdrawn. The verification process will start afterwards. The observers will be checking if the declared weapons are really withdrawn," the official added.

After that, according to the representative of the General Staff, the ATO forces will start the third stage, which is actually the mortars withdrawal. "We are going to finish this stage by Oct. 18," Selezniov said.

On Sept. 29, Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian 'LPR' and 'DPR' terrorists have agreed to extend a pull-back of weapons in eastern Ukraine to include tanks and smaller weapons systems. It concerns the withdrawal of tanks, mortars and artillery of less than 100mm caliber to a distance of 15 km.

Weapons of over 100mm caliber have already been withdrawn from the frontline in accordance with a cease-fire deal brokered in Minsk in February.

Read more: Donbas conflict settlement depends solely on Ukraine's fulfillment of Minsk agreements, Putin saysИсточник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n355691