Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius is cautious about a truce between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists, announced on Saturday. The minister welcomed attempts to stop violence but warned that demilitarized buffer zones might lead to a frozen conflict.
© Reuters/Scanpix

Linkevičius told BNS any agreements "must not be done at the expense of Ukraine's territorial integrity".

"Attempts to stop violence and military action are a welcome thing but we hope they will not be taken at the expense of Ukraine's territorial integrity and will not lead to another frozen conflict similar to the one in Transnistria," the minister said.

Following overnight talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, pro-Russian separatists as well as Kiev and Moscow's representatives reached agreement on additional measures to ensure a truce in eastern Ukraine.

Representing Kiev at the meeting of the so-called contact group, ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said both sides agreed to withdraw artillery 15 kilometers from the front line and this way create a 30 km-wide buffer zone.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed on a truce with separatists only after government forces lost large territories in the region of Dontesk following battles with separatists supported by Russia.

Kiev says Russia assisted separatists by supplying arms and sending over 1,000 Russian troops. Meanwhile Russia says it's not interfering with the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

BNS
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