REUTERS

Former deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, retired Lieutenant-General Ihor Romanenko has said the disengagement of forces and weapons along the contact line in Donbas must continue.

To do this, it is necessary to select several more "easiest sites," he told the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel.

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The general positively assessed the disengagement of forces and weapons at the first three sites: the villages of Stanytsia Luhanska and Petrivske, and the town of Zolote. In his opinion, the cessation of hostilities is the main result of the disengagement.

"The experience gained at the previous three disengagement sites shows that it is expedient, as there are no hostilities in those areas, our troops are not dying. The fire is becoming ineffective," he said.

According to Romanenko, until the parties agree on the complete withdrawal of illegal armed groups from the occupied territory of Donbas "beyond the border" of Ukraine and Russia, until the issue of local elections is resolved, forces should be withdrawn in those areas where it is possible. "This must be done consistently," he said.

Romanenko added the Ukrainian side should continue such steps not because the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" announced a new disengagement of forces, but because such an agreement was reached between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia during the Normandy Four summit in Paris on December 9.