Rebel rep: Ukraine truce deal could take years to implement

A rebel representative at peace talks for eastern Ukraine says the truce deal between the Ukrainian government and separatists could take years to be implemented.

Fighting has subsided in eastern Ukraine since the deal was signed in Minsk, Belarus, in February last year. It provided for a cease-fire as well as a political transition in Ukraine's industrial heartland, where fighting has killed over 9,100 people.

Denis Pushilin, who represents the rebels in Minsk, was quoted by the rebel mouthpiece Donetsk News Agency on Friday as saying that the way the truce is implemented right now it could take 10 to 15 years to comply with all of its statures.

The step-by-step Minsk plan was linked to the withdrawal of heavy weaponry and was not supposed to drag on for years.