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Ministers Agree To Aim For Withdrawal Of Heavy Weapons In Ukraine


Foreign Ministers from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France agreed to try to complete a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front lines in eastern Ukraine, Germany's foreign minister said on November 6.

"We've agreed...to tackle the pullback of heavy weaponry now," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after a round of peace talks in Berlin, noting that violence in the region has declined recently and a withdrawal of light weaponry has nearly been completed.

On the issue of mines, which have claimed scores of victims in the fighting zone, Steinmeier said the end of November is the target date for their removal.

Steinmeier said Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists also need to work through the political issues of who can run for office in planned local elections in separatist-held territory in the east, and who should monitor the voting.

Ukraine's Foreign Miniser Pavlo Klimkin proposed that the elections be set up and monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is currently monitoring the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP
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