STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

NATO Chief Tells Russia to Get Arms Out of Ukraine

Stoltenberg\'s comments came as Ukraine\'s military announced it was starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line of the conflict.

Published: 26th February 2015 11:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2015 11:00 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

ROME: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned that any attempt to expand territory held by separatists in Ukraine would be "unacceptable" and told Russia to withdraw 1,000 items of military equipment from its neighbour's territory.

Speaking after meeting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the alliance's secretary general yesterday expressed cautious optimism about the prospects of a shaky truce holding between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.

"I welcome the recent indications of reduced fighting in Ukraine and we hope that the ceasefire now is finally going to be respected," he said.

"It is important that all parties fully respect the ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons.

"Russia has transferred in recent months over 1,000 pieces of equipment -- tanks, artillery and advanced air defence systems.

"They have to withdraw this equipment and they have to stop supporting separatists."

The NATO boss added: "It is important that all parties now respect the provisions of the Minsk agreement.

"And any attempt to expand further the territory held by separatists would be a clear violation of the Minsk agreement and the ceasefire.

"And it would be unacceptable to the international community."

Stoltenberg's comments came as Ukraine's military announced it was starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline of the conflict.

The withdrawal of all weapons over a calibre of 100mm is meant to contribute to a buffer zone between the two warring sides of between 50 and 140 kilometres (31 and 87 miles), depending on the range of the arms.

Under the terms of a peace plan signed by Kiev and the rebels this month, the withdrawal is meant to be completed in 14 days.

The rebels insist they have begun to pull back their heavy weapons but OSCE monitors on the ground have so far been unable to verify the claims.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp