VIENNA, September 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The OSCE confirmed on Tuesday that the three-party Contact Group on Ukraine will hold a new round of talks before the end of the week.
According to a Contact Group statement, the meeting on September 1 discussed a general situation in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine with an accent on ideas and proposals voiced by the Ukrainian authorities and representatives of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Commenting on the results of Monday’s Contact Group meeting in Minsk, DPR’s First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said on Monday, “We wanted to achieve greater progress on certain issues, but we did not yet succeed. The Ukrainian side had similar expectations, but they were not met either… the situation is in limbo, but there are points of contact where we can go forward.”
He also said that first steps towards a ceasefire had been made on Monday. The parties also discussed a prisoner swap on the ‘all for all’ basis.
The Contact Group was represented by Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office on Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini. Also taking part in the consultations were Andrei Purgin and the chairman of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, Valery Karyakin.
The initiative to set up a contact group for Ukraine crisis settlement came in February and its first session was held in Kiev early in June. On July 31, Minsk hosted a session of the Contact Group with participation of representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic leadership. The session in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on August 14 discussed logistics aspects of the dispatch of humanitarian aid for the embattled southeast of the country.