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US Nuland and Russia’s Surkov continue consultations behind closed doors

January 15, 20:20 UTC+3 KALININGRAD
The US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and Russia's presidential aide have been holding consultations for four hours already
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Russian president’s aide Vladislav Surkov (archive)

Russian president’s aide Vladislav Surkov (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

KALININGRAD, January 15 /TASS/. Russian president’s aide Vladislav Surkov and Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, have been holding consultations on the Minsk agreements for Ukraine settlement for the past four hours, Pavel Mamontov, the Russian Foreign Ministry representative in the Kaliningrad region, told TASS on Friday.

The meeting is taking place at a state residence belonging to the Russian president’s property management department in the town of Pionersky near the city of Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost exclave bordering on Lithuania and Poland.

"The consultations continue behind the closed doors," Mamontov said.

The talks are dominated by the Minsk agreements for the settlement of crisis in eastern Ukraine.

According to US State Department Spokesman John Kirby, the Surkov-Nuland meeting continues the contacts, which started during negotiations of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with US Secretary of State John Kerry who visited Moscow on December 15, 2015. Kirby said that Nuland and Surkov were meeting to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine and the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements.

He believes that the Surkov-Nuland consultations should be regarded as part of US efforts to work together with Russia with an aim to guarantee full implementation of the Minsk agreements in close cooperation with the Normandy Four states, including Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

Nuland arrived in Kaliningrad from neighbouring Lithuania earlier on Friday. Vladislav Surkov arrived in the Kaliningrad region a day earlier on January 14. Nuland is going to leave Russia after the consultations, the Russian Foreign Ministry office in Kaliningrad said.

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