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'Buffer zone' to separate troops and miliants created during Ukraine peace talks

The buffer zone is to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants.

Image: ASSOCIATED PRESS

PARTICIPANTS IN UKRAINIAN peace talks have reached agreement to create a buffer zone to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants.

Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the Moscow-backed rebels agreed that the buffer zone should be 30 kilometers wide.

They said after the talks that dragged into the night and ended early Saturday (local time) in the Belarusian capital Minsk that all heavy weapons should be withdrawn from that zone.

The negotiators also reached agreement on the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries — a diplomatic reference to Russians fighting alongside the rebels.

The talks in Minsk were intended to spell out details of a cease-fire agreement reached September 5 that has been frequently interrupted by clashes.

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