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Contact Group fails to reach agreement on ceasefire in Donbass — Russia's envoy

April 19, 2:11 UTC+3

Russia's envoy Boris Gryzlov said "Kiev refused to take additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire regime which were supposed to ensure strong security and transition to political settlement"

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Russia's envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov

Russia's envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov

© Alexei Druzhinin/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Participants in the meeting of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Donbass have failed to agree on a comprehensive and stable ceasefire, Russia's envoy Boris Gryzlov told reporters on Thursday.

"Today we discussed at the videoconference the issue of estblishing ceasefire between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. This dialogue took place in the format of the working group on security, and then in the format of the Contact Group," Gryzlov said. "Unfortunately, the discussion did not yield any results. Kiev refused to take additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire regime which were supposed to ensure strong security and transition to political settlement. Proposals of Donetsk and Lugansk, which were supported by Russia and earlier by the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], were refused," he added.

Talking about the "unilateral ceasefire" proposed by the Ukrainian forces ahead of the videoconference of the Contact Group, Gryzlov said that this is "fiction" as Ukrainian forces continue shelling regions of Donbass, including residential areas.

"At the meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk on April 10, Kiev's delegation refused to agree on a ceasefire. The latest ceasefire agreed between the sides in the Ukrainian conflict before March 8, was almost immediately violated by Kiev," Gryzlov noted.

"We see that all statements made by the Kiev authorities about wanting to agree on an 'Easter ceasefire' turned out to be empty words. Kiev practically refuses to hold talks with Donbass even though they should have direct negotitations," the envoy added.

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