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Disengagement will start after 7 days of truce - Zelensky

The truce in the designated Donbas disengagement areas has been holding for two days but the disengagement process cannot begin until after seven consecutive days of ceasefire, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

"The seven-day period of truce is not something new to Ukraine and all other members of the Trilateral Contact Group based in Minsk. So, we will be waiting for seven days of truce," Zelensky said at a joint press conference with Latvian President Egils Levits in Riga.

"We rely on the OSCE, which has to confirm that, yes, there have been no attacks for seven days," Zelensky said.

"As of today, I know that the truce has been holding for two days. Let us hope, let us wait for seven days of truce, then we can speak about disengaging [forces]," he said.

He said that it was in the designated disengagement areas that the truce had held for two days.

"We suffered a horrible tragedy yesterday. Two people died. I was talking about the disengagement areas: there have been no attacks in Zolote and Petrivske for two days. Regrettably, we lost our people, including one woman, yesterday. I visited the place [where they were killed] the day before the incident. This is a great tragedy for all Ukrainians," Zelensky said.

As to whether Russian President Vladimir Putin might use the lack of disengagement progress as a pretext for postponing the Normandy-format meeting, Zelensky said, "Truth be told, I do not know what the Russian president might do. We think that the Ukrainian side is not the only one that wants peace to finally be established and our people, Ukrainians, to stop dying. I think each party must share this wish, therefore this is what we are expecting," Zelensky said.

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