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Ukrainian government, rebels agree on weapon-free zone

Ukrainian government, rebels agree on weapon-free zone

Minsk: Representatives from the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebel groups from eastern Ukraine Saturday signed a deal to establish a weapon-free zone after holding peace talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The talks which began Friday night by the three-party Contact Group of Russia, Ukraine and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was attended by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Russian envoy Mikhail Zurabov, rebel leaders and OSCE representatives, Xinhua reported.

Kiev and the rebels have agreed to move artillery 15 km away from the front line to create a 30 km buffer zone, Kuchma said after the meeting.

The two sides also agreed to stop using heavy weaponry in populated areas, Kuchma added.

The Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian rebels agreed on a ceasefire Sep 5 after envoys from the two sides as well as Russia and the OSCE held talks in Minsk.

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