Negotiators reach deal on weapons withdrawal in east Ukraine ahead of Paris summit

Representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have reached a long-awaited agreement on the withdrawal of weapons of less than 100 mm caliber from the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

The deal supplements a broad agreement signed in February aimed at ending the conflict between the Western-aligned Ukrainian government and Russia-backed rebels. Many of its provisions remain unimplemented.

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, who negotiated the February agreement, are meeting in Paris on Friday to try to push forward a political settlement.

The deal reached late Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus, by the so-called Contact Group was announced by Dariia Olifer, the spokeswoman for Ukraine's chief negotiator, in a posting on Facebook. She said rebel leaders were expected to sign it.