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MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. The Russian State Duma hopes a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk will take place in January.
“I hope very strongly another round of the Minsk negotiations of the Contact Group on Ukraine will take place in January,” head of the lower house’s committee on the CIS, Eurasian integration and compatriots Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Saturday.
The meeting in Minsk is important in the context of the “Normandy format,” he said. “Now we have been working on a summit of the Normandy Four in Astana (Kazakhstan).”
The legislator called an “alarming signal” the fact that the Ukrainian delegation did not come to the Belarusian capital city on January 16.
“We can only guess what made the Kiev delegation decide not to attend the meeting in Minsk. On the background of violated truce, new militarist declarations and President Poroshenko’s order on another military mobilisation without an official declaration of war - this is a very alarming signal,” he said.
“There is a clear risk of a major force escalation” of the situation in Ukraine’s south-east.
“It is most important to keep the Minsk format and to continue it in the framework of the dialogues between Kiev and the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics,” he said. Russia, he added, is still ready to offer support for a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. “Most important is to achieve truce and to prevent new victims.”.