U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker says he expects from Russia the withdrawal of heavy weapons and disarming the illegal armed groups following the first stage of disengagement of forces near Stanytsia Luhanska in Donbas.

"A good step by Ukraine at Stanytsia-Luhanska. Now it’s up to Russia to take reciprocal further steps to strengthen ceasefire including withdrawing heavy weapons and disarming illegal armed formations," Volker tweeted on Wednesday, June 26.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, units of Ukraine's armed forces have left one position before the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint as part of the first phase of disengagement in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.

The Joint Forces Operation Headquarters said the process of disengagement of forces near Stanytsia Luhanska on the contact line does not weaken Ukraine's defense capabilities. It was also reported the Joint Forces improved their position and took up advantageous defense lines near Stanytsia Luhanska.