Europe

Ukraine ceasefire: New Minsk agreement key points

  • 12 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
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Ukrainian servicemen load Grad rockets near Debaltseve, 8 Feb 15 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Ukrainian Grad rocket unit near Debaltseve, where the rebels are closing in on three sides

Marathon peace negotiations have resulted in a new ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The 16-hour talks went on through the night, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A previous Minsk ceasefire deal collapsed within days of its signing on 5 September. And there was heavy fighting just hours before this one, between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels controlling a big swathe of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Here are the key points of the new plan (as released in Russian):

1. Immediate and full bilateral ceasefire

To take effect in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, from 00:00 local time on 15 February (22:00 GMT on 14 February).

2. Withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides

To equal distances to create a buffer zone of: at least 50km (30 miles) separating both sides for artillery systems of 100mm calibre or more; 70km for multiple rocket systems and 140km for the heaviest rocket and missile systems such as Tornado, Uragan, Smerch and Tochka.

Ukrainian troops to withdraw heavy weapons from the current frontline.

Separatist forces to withdraw theirs from the line of 19 September 2014.

Heavy weapons withdrawal must start no later than day two of the ceasefire and be completed within two weeks. The OSCE security body will assist in the process.

3. Effective monitoring and verification regime for the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons

To be carried out by the OSCE from day one, using all necessary technology such as satellites and radar.

4. From day one of the withdrawal begin a dialogue on the holding of local elections

In line with the Ukrainian law on temporary self-rule for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk. There will also be a dialogue on those areas' political future.

5. Pardon and amnesty by banning any prosecution of figures involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk conflict

6. Release of all hostages and other illegally detained people

On the basis of "all for all". To be completed at the latest on the fifth day after the military withdrawal.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Minsk leaders (from left: Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko)

7. Unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy, internationally supervised

8. Restoration of full social and economic links with affected areas

Including social transfers, such as payment of pensions. To that end, Ukraine will restore its banking services in districts affected by the conflict.

9. Full Ukrainian government control will be restored over the state border, throughout the conflict zone

To begin on the first day after local elections, and be completed after a comprehensive political settlement, by the end of 2015. (Local elections in rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be based on Ukrainian law and a constitutional reform.)

10. Withdrawal of all foreign armed groups, weapons and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory

To be monitored by the OSCE. All illegal groups to be disarmed.

11. Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with adoption of a new constitution by the end of 2015

A key element of which will be decentralisation (taking account of the special features of certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, agreed with representatives of those regions), and adoption of permanent laws on the special status of those areas.

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