Amnesty International's conclusions on Russia are ‘farfetched’, says ombudsmanRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 28, 9:52
Thousands of people resettle from Arctic to warmer Russian regionsBusiness & Economy February 28, 8:21
Gazprom could be able to build Turkish Stream using project financingBusiness & Economy February 28, 7:10
Finland, Russia have no serious problems in their relations — top diplomatWorld February 27, 21:49
Brazil's joyful carnivalSociety & Culture February 27, 21:30
Syrian opposition has no dialog partner seeking peace — chief negotiatorWorld February 27, 20:37
About 40 Arctic projects may be in Russia's Yamal backbone zone — governorBusiness & Economy February 27, 19:28
Russian Defense Ministry forms special purpose division near MoscowMilitary & Defense February 27, 19:13
Russian frigate in Mediterranean to deliver no strikes on terrorists in Syria — sourceMilitary & Defense February 27, 18:54
The meeting at the President Hotel is held behind closed doors. Journalists were allowed to take formal photographs for two minutes and then were asked to leave the hall.
Plans will be drawn up and signed by a five-party contact group, said Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov.
About 100 journalists of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Western mass media are waiting the meeting results at the hotel lobby. The sides are expected to make a statement to reporters on the meeting results.
Russian and Ukrainian officials ahead of the meeting expressed the hope for the signing of concrete documents.
Ukraine’s former President Leonid Kuchma told reporters, “We have come for peace, to negotiate a ceasefire,” adding that the Ukrainian side was ready for truce. “If other sides have the same attitude, the plan will be certainly signed,” he said.
“It is necessary to stop killing each other,” he said, adding that the main goal was “an immediate ceasefire.” Kuchma told TASS he was confident documents would be signed at the meeting.Putin’s peace plan suggests that all the armed groups in the southeast of Ukraine should stop the offensive operations, all Ukrainian security forces should be withdrawn from populated localities to a safe distance, international control should be established over the observance of the ceasefire accord, use of military aircraft against civilians should be stopped, the exchange of prisoners of war should be conducted on an equal basis, all humanitarian corridors should be opened and repair brigades sent to the region for the infrastructure restoration.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised to order a ceasefire if the seven-point peace plan is signed in Minsk.
The DPR and LPR government heads, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, for their part also said they were ready to simultaneously order a ceasefire.
The Contact Group for Ukraine has already held two meetings in Minsk: on July 31 and on September 1.