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MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Moscow assess with cautious optimism the meeting between an envoy of the Kiev government and leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which took place in Donetsk, Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
At President Pyotr Poroshenko’s instruction, the Ukrainian side was represented at the meeting by Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of Ukrainsky Vybor (Ukrainian Choice) public organization, while the two self-proclaimed unrecognized republics were represented by their respective Prime Ministers, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky.
The meeting was held in the form of preliminary consultations in the run-up to talks in the Minsk format and its convocation was caused by the expressions of utmost pessimism as regards the prospects for the Minsk peace process, which the officials of the two East-Ukrainian republics had aired on the background of an offensive operation launched by the Ukrainian government forces, Peskov said.
Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the plenipotentiary representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics at the Minsk talks also attended the Donetsk consultations.
“Moscow hopes the discussion, which began in Donetsk in the course of preliminary consultations, will continue and will be reflected in the issues like ceasefire, the disengagement of artillery and rocket systems, the beginning of works to emplace the demarcation line, and the exchange of prisoners of war,” Peskov said.
“In many ways, appointment of an official representative at the Minsk talks by the Kiev government will facilitate achievement of these objectives,” he said.