A glimpse of hope has appeared for peace in Ukraine after a 13-point memorandum was signed Thursday in Minsk.
The deal was brokered by
the leaders of France, Germany and Russia, who joined their
Ukrainian counterpart on Wednesday for marathon overnight
READ MORE: Ukraine peace deal: Ceasefire starting
February 15, removal of heavy weapons
The deal was signed by the so-called “contact group,” which
includes the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk
People’s Republics, a representative of the OSCE, Ukraine’s
former President Viktor Kuchma and the Russian ambassador to
Here is the breakdown of the deal:
1. A comprehensive ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Comes into force
at 00.00 (Kiev time) on February 15.
2. A pullout of heavy weapons. The parties agreed to a compromise
disengagement line. Kiev is to pull artillery and other hardware
from the current frontline while the rebels would do it from the
frontline as it was in September, before they gained ground in a
January counter-offensive. The OSCE-monitored safety zone would
be 50 km to 150 km wide for weapons, depending on their range.
The pullout is to be completed by March 1.
3. The OSCE will use its drone fleet and monitors on the ground,
as well as satellite images and radar data to ensure that both
parties stick to the deal.
4. Kiev and the rebels will negotiate the terms for future local
elections in the rebel-held areas, which would bring them back
into Ukraine’s legal framework. Kiev would adopt legislation on
self-governance that would be acceptable for the self-proclaimed
5. Kiev will declare a general amnesty for the rebels.
6. An exchange of all prisoners must be completed by the fifth
day after full disengagement. That’s in 19 days, if the weapons
pullback takes the full time provided for by the deal.
7. Humanitarian aid convoys will be allowed full access to the
needy in the war-affected areas. An international monitoring
mechanism will be provided.
8. Kiev will restore economic ties, social payments and banking
services in the dissenting areas, which it cut earlier in
response to the elections held by the self-proclaimed republics.
Their respective governments will resume taxation and payment for
utilities. This provision is subject for further negotiation.
9. After the local elections are held in the Donetsk and Lugansk
regions, Kiev is to restore control over their borders with
Russia. The transition may take time, which would be needed for a
comprehensive constitutional reform in Ukraine.
10. All foreign troops, heavy weapons and mercenaries are to be
withdrawn from Ukraine. Illegal armed groups would be disarmed,
but local authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk would be allowed to
have legal militia units.
11. Kiev will implement comprehensive constitutional reform by
the end of the year, which would decentralize the Ukrainian
political system and give privileges to Donetsk and Lugansk. The
privileges include language self-determination, the freedom to
appoint prosecutors and judges, and to establish economic ties
12. The OSCE’s election monitors are to see that local elections
in the self-proclaimed republics are up to international
standards. The exact procedure for the elections is subject to
13. Talks between the “contact group” will be intensified in