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Peace Deal in Ukraine
Feb 16, 2015

An agreement aimed at ending the fighting in Ukraine has been reached, following 17 hour marathon talks in Minsk, capital of Belarus. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France announced a ceasefire from 15 February. The deal also includes weapon withdrawals and prisoner exchanges, but key issues remain to be settled. The pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have signed the agreement. Thousands of people have died in almost a year of fighting in the region.

Under the terms of the deal between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 50-140 kilometers wide, depending on the weapon calibre.

 Key Points of the Deal 

  • Heavy weapons to be withdrawn, beginning on 16 February and completed in two weeks.

  • All prisoners to be released; amnesty for those involved in fighting.

  • Withdrawal of all foreign troops and weapons from Ukrainian territory. 

  • Disarmament of all illegal groups.

  • Ukraine to allow resumption of normal life in rebel areas by lifting restrictions.

  • Constitutional reform to enable decentralisation for rebel regions by the end of 2015.

  • Ukraine to control international border with Russia if conditions met by the end of 2015.

  • Key unresolved issues include the status of Debaltseve, a government-held town surrounded by rebels, where fighting is still going on. 

  • Further talks will also be held on self-rule in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions.

  • The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's observer mission in Ukraine


An earlier cease-fire called in September 2014 never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month.


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