Putin announces cease-fire deal for eastern Ukraine effective Saturday

The participants in the Minsk “Normandy format” negotiations have agreed on a ceasefire in the conflict zone in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbas region starting from February 15 midnight, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, as well as long-term political settlement, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters after the talks, TASS reports.

“We have agreed on many things, to my mind. First — agreed on a ceasefire starting from 00:00 hours on February 15,” said the Russian leader. The second very important point, according to Putin, is the withdrawal of heavy weapons “from today’s contact line for Ukrainian troops and from the line specified in the Minsk agreements of September 19, 2014 — for the Donbas militias.”

According to the Russian president, the sides have also settled a number of issues “linked with the long-term political settlement.”

“There are several points here: the first is a constitutional reform that should take into account the legal rights of Donbas residents,” said Putin.

Other points are linked with the “settlement of border issues on agreement with Donbas militias; humanitarian issues, implementation of the previously adopted law on the special status of these territories -—Donetsk and Luhansk,” the Russian president said.

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