Ukraine is preparing for a complete ceasefire in the Donbas, starting on January 1, said Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk in a press conference, as cited by Interfax-Ukraine.
“We are preparing for a full ceasefire from January 1. That is, we are currently preparing for it, and will be working on it,” he said.
The minister also said that Ukraine and the militants have identified new sections for the disengagement of armed forces and heavy weaponry.
“Yes, we have identified our points. As we already said, these points have an absolutely clear humanitarian nature – that is, they are crossings, where the population can cross the conflict line. They are currently being discussed in the Trilateral Contact Group,” said the minister.
Zahorodniuk said that it is still too early to name the new points for disengagement. “We are already aware of them, they suit us completely, there are no risks,” the minister explained.
In autumn 2016, members of the Trilateral Contact Group signed an agreement do withdraw forces and heavy weaponry from three settlements on the demarcation line – Petrovske, Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska. The framework agreement envisages disengagement of forces for a depth and breadth of one kilometer.
At the time, disengagement took place only around the first two settlements – Zolote on October 1, 2016, and Petrovske on October 7, 2016. No disengagement of forces took place around Stanytsia Luhanska due to shelling, and the two sides later returned to their previously held positions around Zolote and Petrovske.
In summer 2019, the disengagement was begun again. Disengagement took place at the last section of Petrovske in November.
As reported, on December 18, the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk agreed to a new ceasefire in the Donbas, and extended the old one.