27 October 2016

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Ukraine demands control over militant-held Debaltseve ahead of Normandy Four talks

Ukraine insists on the return of control over the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve in Donetsk region, held by the Russian-terrorist forces, ahead of the meeting of the Normandy Four leaders in Berlin Oct 19, according to Darka Olifer, the spokesperson of Ukraine’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group, ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.

"The Ukrainian side drew special attention to the provisions of the Memorandum of September 19 2014, which, among other things, provides for Ukraine’s control over Debaltseve, " Olifer wrote on Facebook following a videoconference of the contact group with the participation of terrorists’ representatives.

"The document also provides for stopping the armed units of both sides along the contact line, which has been formed as of September 19, 2014 – the provision breached by ORDLO [occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions]. Also, the representatives of ORDLO failed to fulfill the provision clearly specifying a ban on the deployment of heavy weapons and military equipment in the vicinity of settlements of Komsomolske, Kumachove, Novoazovsk, and Sahanka," the spokesperson said.

Ukraine sees Europe embracing harder line on Russia - WSJAs reported earlier, on October 18, during his visit to Norway, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held a telephone conversation in a trilateral format with the participation of French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The parties agreed to hold a meeting of heads of state in Normandy format in Berlin October 19. The Russian president’s spox Dmitry Peskov confirmed Putin's participation in the negotiations "to coordinate positions". According to Peskov, it is too early to talk about any specific agreements.

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