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MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is expecting progress from Friday’s meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, a deputy Russian foreign minister said Thursday.
“The decisions taken September 5 became the factor of hopes and expectations, so everyone is looking forward to further action,” Grigory Karasin told an Itar-Tass correspondent.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday that the Contact Group’s meeting on Ukraine is scheduled for September 19 in Minsk.
According to UN data, clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR), have resulted in about 3,000 deaths and massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire and exchange of captives during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Minsk on September 5. The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprises Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE. The talks also involved DPR and LPR leaders.