Next stage of cease-fire – Ukraine Truce on Verge of Collapse

Ukraine Truce on Verge of Collapse
Ukraine Truce on Verge of Collapse

Withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontlines in Ukraine is set to begin at midnight Monday under the terms of the cease-fire, negotiated late last week in Minsk, Belarus, by the the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia.

But a Ukrainian military spokesman said such a move would be unlikely.

“One hundred and twelve attacks are not an indicator of a cease-fire. At the moment we are not ready to withdraw heavy weapons,” Andriy Lysenko told a news briefing in Kyiv.

In another development, the European Union included two Russian deputy defense ministers on its latest Ukraine sanctions list Monday, hitting them with travel bans and asset freezes for their role in the conflict.

They are among 19 new people and nine entities the EU has sanctioned due to the Ukraine crisis.

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Russia said that it would respond “appropriately” to the latest EU measures.

Ukraine and a host of Western governments accuse Moscow of stoking the rebellion in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east with arms and fighters. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied providing direct support, and claims that Russian troops seen fighting alongside rebels are volunteers.

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